The St Francois County Commission approved the 2018 county budget when it met Tuesday morning on the third floor of the courthouse annex in Farmington.

According to County Auditor Louie Seiberlich, the coming year's budget projects revenues of $30.6 million with expenditures of $22.8 million — leaving the county with a balance of $7.8 million.

"My office began compiling the necessary figures and requests from officeholders in August after we held a class for them entitled 'Budget 101,'" Seiberlich said. "We believe this gave them and their employees a more clear picture of of the county's finances and where the expenses were going.

"Led by Audit Manager Amber Menjoulet, we spent hundreds of man hours dissecting and bisecting each line item and then visited, individually, with each officeholder to scrutinize their figures and requests."

The 71-page audit previews the projected costs for each department and outlines the history of expenses from 2016-2017.

"This year saw major expenditures, primarily in the road and bridge department as they moved into improved facilities on Woodlawn Drive," Seiberlich said. "Their expense budget for 2018 is at $4.4 million.

"The county also added the Weber Road Facility that is forecasted to produce office rental income to offset the overhead. That building also includes a new morgue for southeast Missouri. Security and computer upgrades were also made in county buildings with additional staffing added."

The budget for law enforcement is more than $5 million, with revenues for the general fund predicted at $10 million.

"In an effort to save the taxpayers money, an ambitious search for lower health insurance premiums and the annual outside audit services netted multiple bids and a savings of hundreds of thousands of dollars with both bids locked in for the next three years," Seiberlich said.

Seiberlich noted that County Clerk Mark Hedrick and County Treasurer Kerry Glore were also instrumental in formulating what he described as a "conservative budget" for the next 12 months.

The commissioners will next meet in regular session at 10 a.m. Jan. 2, on the third floor of the courthouse annex, located at 1 W. Liberty St. in Farmington.

Kevin Jenkins is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3614 or kjenkins@dailyjournalonline.com

Outbrain