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by Patty Cheffey
Revenues and expenditures do not balance in the 2023 Marion County budget, but thanks to a healthy 2022 bottom line, the county could end up with a $3.3 million ending balance at the end of 2023
This year’s budget shows $14,854,734.28 in revenue, but with $6,405,876.84 cash available at the end of 2022, the 2023 budget reflects $21,260,611.12 total funds available.
This year’s expenditures are $17,934,715.60, leaving an ending balance of $3,325,895.52.
Of the $17,934,715.60, almost half of that, $8,359,023.16 is in General Revenue, where items include $4,474,171.41 for the Sheriff’s Department and $554,054.03 for the Prosecuting Attorney.
The General Revenue reflects $1.929,973.71 net cash available from 2022 for total revenue of $9,680,867.99 and expenditures of $8,359,023.16
County commissioners approved a $1 an hour pay raise for full-time employees and a salary of $20,000 for John Hark, county emergency management director.
The Special Road and Bridge Fund shows $3,055,939.40 in funds available, including $649,439.40 cash available from 2022, and $2,334,525.35 in expenditures, leaving a balance of $721,414.05.
Capital Improvement Fund is expecting to see $2,485,500 in revenue plus $985,260.91 in cash available from 2022, for total revenue of $3,470,760.91
Expenditures will be $2,539.179.71, leaving a balance of $931,581.20.
The General Revenue Emergency Fund is showing an ending balance of $1,594,207.05.
In addition to the pay raise, in her message, new County Clerk Marla Meyers, who completed her first budget, noted construction on the jail roof will start in 2023 as will work on bridges on County Road 281 and County Road 230.
Noting it was her first budget, Eastern District Commissioner Larry Welch complimented Meyers on her work.
“I didn’t get to work much on this year’s budget, but what I did help with, I think Marla did a good job for it being her first one,” Welch said, noting he had been absent for much of the budget process because of a health issue.
Presiding Commissioner David Lomax and Western District Commissioner Steve Begley also thanked Meyers for her work on the budget.
“It was a year of transition with two retirements with a combined total of 60 years of experience,” said Lomax, noting the former county clerk and the deputy clerk had both retired this year. “But, they did a wonderful job of transferring their knowledge to Marla.
“You always estimate your revenue low and your expenses high, and technically this is a deficit budget, but it should all come out balanced in the end,” he added.
Begley noted the healthy 2022 bottom line and said he is looking forward to a good 2023 budget.
“We kept it within the realm of our projected income, and therefore we were able to give employees $1 an hour raise,” he said. “Our employees are our greatest asset so we want to keep them here.”
Begley also thanked the county officials and departments for helping with this year’s budget.
Both Mike Schaefer, county road supervisor, and Sheriff Jimmy Shinn thanked the commissioners for the pay raise.
“It’s hard to hold on to good employees, so this helps,” said Schaefer, also thanking the commissioners for their work on the budget.
“I want to thank you from the employees as well,” said Shinn. “It is a stressful job, but we have seen a dwindling of turnovers recently because we are getting the salaries up there where they should be and by going to 12-hour shifts.”