County commission expected to approve budget

St. Joseph County’s board of commissioners is expected to approve a budget of nearly $18 million for its 2019 fiscal year.

The preliminary budget was at the center of a public hearing during Tuesday’s final county commission meeting of the year. Officially $17,949,839, the proposed 2019 budget represents a 5 percent decrease from the county’s 2018 amended budget of nearly $19 million.

Finance director Ryan Post said the top six budget expenses for 2019 are: $2.5 million to the county jail; $2.5 million to the sheriff’s department; $1.7 million for appropriations; $1.3 million to district court; nearly $1.2 million to friend of the court; and $818,000 to the prosecutor’s office.

Florence Township resident Tim Carls was the only person to address commissioners regarding the proposed budget. Among his statements was a suggestion that the commission consider removing the one-quarter of a mill it approved a year ago, dedicating the money specifically to parks and recreation.

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