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by Patty Cheffey
Marion County full time employees will see a $1.50 an hour raise as part of the 2022 budget.
The Marion County Commission approved the 2022 budget of $24,552,985.96 in revenue with expenditures expected to be $20,922,119.72, leaving a balance of $3,630,866.24.
Revenue includes $6,669,542.27 from the 2021 budget, including $2,552,728.07 in General Revenue and $1,290,672.81 in the General Revenue Emergency Fund.
According to her budget statement, County Clerk Valerie Dornberger, noted “Marion County has seen one of the highest years on record with funds coming in under budget and balanced.
“Sales and Use Tax revenues saw the highest experienced by the county,” she added, noting the COVID pandemic means Marion County residents are staying closer to home to shop. “This has helped Marion County’s economy stay very healthy.”
Dornberger also noted expenditures in 2022 include the final re-payment for the Taylor Bridge, the first payment on the lease-purchase agreement for the five new road graders; construction of the County Road 402 bridge and replacement of the roof on the county jail.
Plans also include constructing a storage building on the land between the Highway Department and the jail facility.
“This will help the storage issue in both the Palmyra and Hannibal courthouses and should help each office gain additional space needed for social distancing in both courthouses for the public and the employees,” Dornberger said.
She also noted the commissioners have ordered a $1.50 an hour pay increase to all full-time employees of the county.
In addition, the commission “did not raise county property taxes in 2021 and is not anticipating an increase for 2022.”
The commission also budgeted the transfer of $150,000 to the General Revenue Emergency Fund, and $150,000 to the Jail Renovation Fund for the roof replacement.
In approving the budget, the commissioners expressed their appreciation to Dornberger, who, since she is retiring, built her final budget for the county, and to the county officials for their work in staying within budgets.
“This is my 10th budget, and every year we’ve been able to help the county employees with a cost of living increase,” said Eastern District Commissioner Larry Welch. “I also want to say it has been awesome working with Val (Dornberger) on this and congratulate her on her retirement.”
Mike Schaefer, highway supervisor, expressed his appreciation and that of the crew’s, for the raise.
“It’s going to come in extremely handy especially with all that is going on,” he said.
Sheriff Jimmy Shinn noted that with the raise, the department is now comparable or above 80 percent of the sheriff’s departments in the state.
Presiding Commissioner David Lomax also expressed his appreciation to Dornberger for her work over the years.
“I’m not happy with losing all of Valerie’s experience, but we are blessed as a county,” he said, noting he is also appreciative of not having to raise taxes to keep the budget balanced.
Western District Commissioner Steve Begley echoed the sentiments expressed by the others.
“We are blessed in Marion County with a good cash flow, and we want to reward the employees who not only are doing their work, but also making it a good environment to work in,” he said. ‘We are also very blessed to have a bunch of elected officials we can work with.”
Funds available for General Revenue are expected to total $9,840,012.76 with $8,646,398.15 in expenditures.
The Special Road and Bridge funds total $2,951,181.82 with expenditures at $2,424,870.26, and the Road Fund is at $1,810,820.64 in revenue and $1,726,000 in expenditures.
The Capital Improvement Fund looks to be at $3,598,529.61 in revenue and $2,637,680.21 in expenditures.
The General Revenue Emergency Fund reflects $1,590,672.81 in revenue and $0 in expenditures.