The St. Francois County Commission and county department heads will be receiving a detailed monthly financial report after the county auditor's office discovered that it had previously not been conforming to state law.
Pointing at the month's financial report projected on the wall of the commissioners' chamber, County Auditor Louis Seiberlich said, "We have been negligent in not providing this before. The statute says we're supposed to be doing this monthly. So, thanks to the diligence of Amber [Menjoulet] and Kim [Roux], we put together these numbers which we'll share every month.
"They've done a terrific job of breaking down so that you can see the individual departments, what the current budget is for the year, and the amount and percentage that has been used up to this point as compared to this time last year."
Seiberlich cautioned the commissioners that they would see some "abnormal" increases for 2018 in the report.
"I'll point out one that's really obvious," he said. "The Inmate Security Fund has a budget of $15,000 and they've already spent $21,000 — which shows a 141 percent increase. That is for the new industrial washer and dryer that was put into the detention center. It was approved at the end of last year but taken out of this year's budget. That's why it's so skewed like that.
"There are a few others that are a little bit higher than normal, but to be quite frank with you, we feel comfortable with the way the numbers are. We paid some things earlier this year in January 2018 than we paid in January 2017. That's why you'll see something like the circuit court — about 25 percent higher than normal for this time of the year."
Seiberlich pointed out that the city of Desloge's Tax Increment Financing (TIF) funds had also been paid out early, to the tune of around $364,000.
"This is public information filed with the county clerk monthly," he said. "We're going to be sending it to all department heads — officeholders — so they can be better advised of how their budget is going. Of course, our office is open and available if you have any further questions."
Gallaher said, "Just to compare this, last 'whatever' we had the sales tax report and a few dollars [in sales tax revenue] showed a 23 percent drop, but it's one month and not many dollars. It's just the way it fell out.
"So, that's what we're doing now and Louie's department is going to be doing this every month for us to keep us up-to-date on it and how things are going. We live heavily by our budget and we want to maintain it. This gives us the guidelines, so we thank you."