Commissioners review expenses/budget

St. Joseph County commissioners plan to review all non-operational expenses and potentially make some adjustments in the county’s 2017 budget.
The plan was discussed during a commissioners’ work session Wednesday.
Commissioner John Dobberteen broached the subject by asking county administrator Pat Yoder for a list of the non-mandated services, adding it is time to re-prioritize.
He said the scrutiny is necessary because the county agreed this summer to dedicate roughly $500,000 a year on enhanced courthouse security.
The discussion started as commissioners reviewed expenditure details from its delinquent tax-payment fund dating to 2012.
The fund at its peak contained about $22 million but is now around $9 million, as commissioners have allocated more than $1 million over the past four years to economic-development partner Southwest Michigan First, nearly $4 million since 2014 for funding the sheriff’s department retirement plan, and $4.4 million total this year for athletic-field developments in Three Rivers and Sturgis.
The fund needs to maintain $6 million at all times for use by the treasurer’s office for the delinquent-tax process, leaving it an undesignated fund balance of $3.2 million.

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