The Morgan County Commissioners say that a balance budget is on tap for fiscal year 2022.
Commissioner Chair Ginny Fanning says despite the challenges of last year, revenues and expenditures are balanced with no surprises, but federal grant money jumped due to the American Rescue Plan: “We are fortunate that we are presenting a balanced budget for 2022. We have seen a slight increase in some of our revenue line items such as sales tax, income tax, and so forth. One of the line items that will show a large increase (if people do take a look at our budget) is under our federal grants, because with the American Rescue Plan Act, the county is receiving $6,537,672. That is showing as a revenue item, but also then as an expense item.”
Fanning says the county has some time to evaluate how to spend the money, but everything else in the budget is standard: “That money will be able to be spent until 2024. We are not expecting that to be spent in this fiscal year, but we wanted to, of course, include it in our budget. We also under our line items, we have added our wind energy escrow income of $100,000, which is for the road use agreement [for the Lincoln Land Wind Project.] There are a few new items in our budget for this year, otherwise it is very standard. According to what the previous years have shown, [the commissioners] appreciate very much our elected officials and our department heads who have been very cautious in their spending.”
Fanning says that the county has given all the non-union county employees a 3% raise while negotiations with the 3 remaining unions for the county still under negotiation.
One of the plans for spending of the ARP funds is going towards the Morgan County Health Department’s move into the former Putnam-Springer Arts Building on the former MacMurray College campus. Work is currently under way to replace the roof and install a parking lot on the east and south sides of the building. Fanning says that the move should be completed by the end of the year.