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Greene County proposes further cuts in 2012 budget

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To increase its general revenue fund by 1.6 percent and close a $1.44 million gap, Greene County officials are suggesting a number of cuts for the fund in the 2012 budget, which is scheduled to be signed in January.

The proposed general revenue fund budget was presented to the Greene County Commission Nov. 15. It calls for a general revenue fund of $34.6 million, an increase based on sale tax revenue - which has grown more than 6 percent since the 2011 budget was adopted - and projections of 2 percent growth in 2012, according to a news release.

Comparatively, the 2011 general revenue fund is $33.92 million, according to Springfield Business Journal archives.

New costs for the 2012 proposed general revenue fund include $787,019 in election costs for 2012; $246,375 in out-of-county jail inmate expenses; $260,000 in employee health insurance costs; $200,000 in fuel costs; and $150,000 in Juvenile Office legal fees to serve more than 1,000 children under supervision of the court.

The proposed budget eliminates a funding gap realized earlier this month in the general revenue fund when projected expenses exceeded revenues by $1.44 million. Proposed cuts include:
  • $253,625 in out-of-county inmate expenses;
  • $150,300 in delayed maintenance and upgrades to the county’s telephone systems, computers, networks and software;
  • $102,988 in moving portions of County Administrator, Human Resources, Public Information and Information Systems expenses to the Road & Bridge Fund;
  • $100,030 in eliminating vacant positions for an associate planner, maintenance worker and custodian;
  • $100,000 in suspending all nonreimbursable training;
  • $82,472 in Health Department Laboratory Services for eliminating water testing;
  • $80,000 in reduced election labor costs;
  • $76,504 in cutting back Health Department Animal Control services outside Springfield city limits;
  • $46,070 in reduced earmarked funding for county boards and nonprofit organizations such as Court Appoint Special Advocates of Southwest Missouri, the Child Advocacy Center and the University of Missouri Extension;
  • $42,125 in reduced jail maintenance;
  • $30,000 in eliminated postage;
  • $15,000 in elimination of a vacant part-time assistant prosecuting attorney position; and
  • $9,000 in reducing lawn mowing to once every two weeks.
“I’m really impressed how the department heads and the officeholders voluntarily stepped up to close this gap,” Presiding Commissioner Jim Viebrock said in the release. “We had an unbelievable gap to fill, and instead of posturing and fighting, they stepped up."

According to Greene County Director of Administration and Budget Officer Jeff Reinold, the proposed 2012 budget depends on the anticipated 2 percent growth in sales tax revenue, keeping the number of jail inmates at or below 550 and no additional cuts or unfunded mandates at the state level, the release said.

Greene County's total 2011 budget is $121.26 million.
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