County audit shows lower deficit than expected

By Doug and Jackie Hampton
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Last fall a deficit of $200,000 was predicted for Stark County, but during the April board meeting, auditor Ron Hilton told the board that the fiscal year ending November 30, 2015 actually came in with an over-all deficit of $56,000.

According to Hilton, “Expenditures totaled about $1.6 million, if you exclude the purchase of four squad cars for $109,000 expenditures actually went down about $25,000.”  The squad cars are being paid for through a loan over a four year period.

Board Chair Colleen Magnussen commended Sherriff Jimmie Dison for his efforts in bringing down the expenses of his department. This represents the largest portion of the county’s general budget. Magnussen said, “You’re doing a good job, but we still have a lot to do.”

Hilton emphasized that overall the county still needs to find a way to increase revenue and reduce expenditures any way they can.  Reductions in sales taxes, both general and public safety, have been one of the causes in the decreased revenue.

During the meeting, the county approved renewing the annual agreement with the University of Illinois Extension in the amount of $26,750.  It was noted during the meeting that the funds for this come from a line item on tax bills and do not come out of the general fund.

A joint resolution with Marshall County to continue the public transportation program, was also approved by the board.

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