Commission gives details of planned 2016 budget

St. Joseph County’s proposed 2016 fiscal year budget reflects a 2.3 percent decrease from its 2015 adjusted amended budget.
In advance of the county’s new fiscal year starting Jan. 1, members of the county’s board of commissioners staged a public hearing Tuesday on the proposed $16.5 million general-fund budget.
The proposed budget is less than the 2015 adjusted amended budget, which is in excess of $16.9 million. In addition, proposed capital expenditures for 2016 is $363,000, an amount less than the 2015 amended allocation of nearly $634,000.
The five-member board is expected to approve the budget at its Dec. 15 meeting.
Finance director Joni Smith said the budget process is a collaborative effort made easier with a new software program that heavily involves department heads in helping shape the county’s budget.
As usual, the sheriff’s department stands to be the most heavily funded department in the county. Coupled with an allowance for the jail, the sheriff’s department was allotted more than $4.2 million.

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