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Cape Girardeau County approves 2024 budget

Photo by Jay Forness

The Cape Girardeau County Commissioners approved the final 2024 county budget during its regular meeting on Jan. 8.
The budget includes more than $36 million in budgeted expenditures for 2024, marking an increase of $4 million compared to last year.

The final budget had minimal changes from the preliminary budget approved by the commission on Dec. 14.

County Auditor Pete Frazier said the final budget includes the actual final balances for the county accounts at the end of 2023, compared to the preliminary budget which used estimates.

At the end of the year, the county’s general fund had an actual balance of $4.72 million, the sheriff’s fund had a balance of $7.45 million, the road and bridge fund had a balance of $3.09 million and the assessment fund had an actual balance of $630,390.

Frazier stated that the revenue estimates for 2024 did not change from the preliminary budget, with county income expected to remain relatively steady from last year.

The county’s general revenue fund, which includes appropriations for most county offices, county parks and the prosecuting attorney’s office, saw an increase in expenditures compared to last year. The county approved $10.41 million in general revenue expenditures for 2024, compared to $9.75 million in 2023.

The sheriff’s fund, which includes appropriations for the sheriff, the county jail and the county’s 911-dispatch center, totaled $17.47 million in expenditures compared to $14.98 million last year.

The county budgeted $7.28 million in road and bridge expenses, compared to $6.2 million last year, and $1.28 million in assessment expenses, compared to $1.14 million last year.

The commission also approved budget adjustments to the 2023 budget to match actual expenditures and revenue for the county. Frazier said the budget adjustments account for any unanticipated expenditures approved by the commission throughout 2023, as well as minor adjustments for items difficult to predict such as fuel and travel costs.

In other action

• The commission approved contracts with Trinity Services Group for food service at the Cape Girardeau County Jail and Advanced Correctional Healthcare for medical service at the jail.

Sheriff Ruth Ann Dickerson said both vendors have worked with the county to hold costs down.

• The commission approved the highway department to be able to advertise bids for supplies and materials as needed throughout the year. The commission will still approve the bids once they are received.

• The county received its second month of revenue from the 3% marijuana sales tax approved by voters in April 2024. The county received $73,097 in January, which was significantly higher than the $19,010 received from the sales tax in December.

• Commissioner Paul Koeper was presented a service award from the Missouri Association of Counties for being a member of the organization for 15 years.

Jay Forness covers education, county government and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Jackson for the past five years. He can be reached at cbjedit@socket.net.

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