St. Joseph County government goals for 2019

Continued effort toward a balanced budget, development of a new Commission On Aging facility and progress toward updating the courts building are a few of the goals the St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners faces in 2019.

Dennis Allen, chair of the five-member board, said there is no shortage of work ahead for commissioners.

Regarding the county’s finances, Allen said the county came up a little short in establishing a balanced budget for its 2019 fiscal year. Correcting that, he said, will continue to be a priority in 2019.

Meanwhile, Allen said he expects redevelopment of the former Three Rivers Inn to begin shortly after the new year. He said it is a project all of St. Joseph County should anticipate.

Regarding capital improvements, Allen said he and his peers are doing everything they can to move employees from three departments from the windowless basement of the courts building to another location at or above ground level.

He said a January meeting with building consultants could present options that would allow commissioners to realize the goal.

Allen, a Centreville resident who is completing his second year as a commissioner, said Ken Malone will replace John Dobberteen as the commissioner representing Fawn River Township and the city of Sturgis.

Allen said he has a good impression of Malone. No matter who is nominated Wednesday to serve as chair of the board for 2019, he expects the group to keep a sharp focus over the next 12 months.

One final matter Allen noted regarding 2019 is a home for Juvenile Day Training, after it was forced to leave a space in the strip plaza at the east end of Centreville.

Allen said he is pleased to announce that the juvenile program will move to the current Parks and Recreation headquarters. Parks and Rec, meanwhile, will relocate to Annex 1, a county-owned building east of the courthouse.

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