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Commissioners approve budget amendments

St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners approved budget amendments Tuesday to pay for enhanced courthouse security and other improvements. About two-thirds of the $300,000 in amendments will cover expenses related to heightened security through the end of the year. County finance director Joni Smith said the $204,000 cost reflects five-twelfths of the annual cost to implement a variety of security …

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COA’s fiscal year changes to calendar year

The budgeting process for St. Joseph County finance director Joni Smith became a little less complicated Tuesday. Members of the county’s board of commissioners agreed to change the fiscal year for Commission On Aging to the calendar year. The move makes the Jan. 1-Dec. 31 fiscal year consistent with the county’s and other agencies. Commission On Aging previously operated on …

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County Commission – District 2

Mendon resident Kathy Pangle pulled off the upset of the night Tuesday in defeating incumbent Don Eaton to District 2 of the St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners. Tuesday’s primary election pitted Eaton, a six-year board member, against Pangle and Mendon resident Chad Behrends. Pangle’s 660 votes represented 60 percent of the votes cast in the five-township district that is …

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County Commission – District 3

Dennis Allen emerged Tuesday as the victor from a field of three candidates in the race for County Commission District 3. The seat, being vacated by Rick Shaffer, will be decided in November, when the 60-year-old Allen will face Democrat Tim Carls of Florence Township. Allen received 881 votes, 432 more than fellow Centreville resident Heather Bright. John Hyden garnered …

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Commissioners discuss courthouse security

The courthouse tragedy in Berrien County earlier this week drew the bulk of attention during Wednesday’s St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners’ executive committee meeting. The situation garnered more than a half hour of discussion, which concluded with Undersheriff Mark Lillywhite and Sheriff Brad Balk indicating their plan to seek additional funds from commissioners to better secure the county courthouse. …

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Dobberteen receives service award

St. Joseph County Commissioner Rick Shaffer this week presented a gift to his peer, commissioner John Dobberteen, in recognition of Dobberteen’s years of service. Shaffer said he is finding himself in a reflective mood as his tenure as a commissioner comes to a close at the end of the year. On that note, he said Dobberteen has been an 18-year …

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Debate continues over condition of Constantine Road

St. Joseph County Commissioner Don Eaton had sharp words for a Florence Township official who complained Tuesday about the state of Constantine Road. Gordon Evilsizor, who has regularly chastised commissioners for their lack of supporting a plan to fix the balance of Constantine Road through Florence Township, repeated his concerns during the citizen-comment portion of the agenda. Eaton said it …

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Commissioners make fund-balance designation changes

Some minor but important changes to the county’s fund-balance designations were made by commissioners Tuesday. Finance director Joni Smith said one of the two moves provides assurance that the county won’t have to borrow money when treasurer Judie Ratering conducts the annual delinquent-tax process. The delinquent-tax process needs $6 million every year to cash flow itself, Smith said, so keeping …

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County commission to field millage request

The 2015 annual audit and a county millage-rate request are among the items of new business to be fielded this afternoon by the St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners. Other matters before the commission include a request for a new position for community corrections, a request to establish an online survey and fund-balance designations. The meeting starts at 5 p.m. …

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County Treasurer details financial information to commission

St. Joseph County Treasurer Judie Ratering in 2015 collected more than $33 million from local treasurers. The figure was one of many Ratering provided during a recent county commission meeting. Ratering said the funds were disbursed twice each month to the taxing entities. In addition, her office has recently settled with all townships and cities, and is prepared to pay …

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