County commission executive committee hear fiscal update

An update on the fiscal health of St. Joseph County was provided during Wednesday’s board of commissioners executive committee meeting, and finance director Angie Steinman provided a small dose of good news.

She said the county’s 2020 budget, approved in December, would require a $414,000 use of fund balance based on projections. She explained, however, that through various money-saving measures, the projected $414,000 difference has been decreased to $165,000.

That lower-than projected, revised figure was reached through measures such as employee furloughs, savings from planned travel costs and hiring new employees at a lower pay level than who they replaced.

County administrator Teresa Doehring said a number of options to reel in expenses are being considered. They include looking at a 35-hour work week, one-day-a-month furloughs for all county employees through the end of the year and not providing a cost-of-living increase to salaried employees in 2021 and 2022.

In other action, commissioners agreed to cancel their regularly scheduled board meeting Tuesday next week.

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