Cape Girardeau County offices and departments will have to re-evaluate expenditures in their budget requests to balance the 2010 budget.
While a specific dollar amount to be cut was not given during Thursday's Cape Girardeau County Commission meeting, the adjustments must be made before the final budget hearing Dec. 17.
"A thought is to take each one of these 2010 budget requests and start slicing off equipment requests to see if you can get back to the 2009 figure," said Presiding Commissioner Gerald Jones. "... All we have to do is amend the budget. If things pick up, we can put [those items] back in."
Spending by county employees has decreased from $10.9 million in 2007 to an expected $10.6 million by the end of this year.
First District Commissioner Paul Koeper said county employees must continue to keep their budgets on track and curb spending.
"We are now in a time when these good habits and extra past revenue keeps our county in the black," Koeper said. As he did in the commission's Nov. 19 meeting, 2nd District Commissioner Jay Purcell proposed consolidating two positions in the 2010 parks budget. Purcell, who oversees the parks, said combining the duties of the parks superintendent and public works director would save the taxpayers $56,000.
"I believe that personnel moves such as what I have proposed could be duplicated time and time again if we as elected officials would be open to a smaller more efficient government," Purcell said.
Koeper said that in light of recent discussions about the two positions he conducted a comparison of labor expense for park system employees of Jackson and Cape Girardeau County. Based on his study, Koeper said Jackson's five employees earn an average $29,463 for maintaining 232 acres. The county's three employees earn an average $29,175 for maintaining 312 acres.
"Cape Girardeau County spends approximately two-thirds of the labor the city of Jackson [spends] to manage their park system," Koeper said. "I believe the county's park superintendent and two employees, under the direction of Bruce Watkins, performs an excellent job of promoting and maintaining our parks. I am not in favor of reducing the parks staff."
1 Barton Square, Jackson, MO