With two new members aboard, the Ste. Genevieve County Health Department board approved the 2019 budget in a special meeting last Thursday, pending some adjustments to be made after the meeting.
The meeting was the first official one for Jeanette Wood, who was appointed last month by the County Commission to succeed Susie Bach, and Carl Kinsky, who was appointed to replace David Woods. Both former members had resigned late in 2018.
The health department budget estimates $967,043 in revenue for 2019 with that same amount in expenses.
Through November of 2018, the department had $2,315,247 on hand after having a surplus of $354,134 for the year. It had $1,197,280 in revenue through November of last year and $843,146 in expenses.
Health department adminstrator Sandra Bell said the board will receive updated budget numbers from 2018 at its regular meeting on January 28.
The key portion of the 2019 budget included a $2 per hour raise for the department employees, which the board approved first before approving the budget as a whole.
With the raise, total salary expenses — including LAGERS retirement fund, health and life insurance benefits and payroll taxes — are budgeted at $600,393 in 2019.
The actual expense on salaries were $533,252 in 2017 and $512,208 in the first 11 months of 2018.
Bell said the increase also would keep her staff salaries above the minimum wage, which is being increased gradually to $12 in 2023. Bell said that is the amount one of her employees is paid now.
The 2019 minimum wage in Missouri is $8.60 per hour following the 75 cents per hour increase effective January 1.
See complete story in the January 16 edition of the Herald.