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County signs 2019 budget, totaling $55 million

The Buchanan County Commissioners signed the 2019 budget Monday morning. The total funds in this year's budget is around $55 million.

Posted: Jan 28, 2019 4:38 PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The Buchanan County Commissioners signed the 2019 budget Monday morning. The total funds in this year's budget is around $55 million.

This year's budget was created similarly to last year and the process began last week when commissioners began to meet about the budget.

"We looked at the main revenue areas and we did a three year rolling average for those," Lee Sawyer, Buchanan County Presiding Commissioner said. "It actually has us budget a little less for 2019 on the revenue side than what we budget in 2018."

Sawyer said this process was a safer plan and allowed for officials to budget less and have less expenses in 2019.

One challenge the commissioners faced was increasing costs in health care. Sawyer said that health care costs raised 10 percent in 2018 and another 10 percent in 2019. Even with the increased costs, Sawyer is confident that this year's budget is secure.

"We really just tried to look literally every single department, every single office and tried to see if we could be a little bit more careful in our spending and really just try to watch everything we can," he said.

Some specific areas receiving money in this year's budget are for the Buchanan County Academy for some much needed upgrades. The sheriff's office also will receive money to purchase new radios.

At the county's court house, a new HVAC system will be installed which will be more efficient than the current system in place.

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