CARTHAGE, Mo. — Federal funds are boosting the bottom line in Jasper County. Specifically “American Rescue Plan Act” or ARPA funds pay for everything from the new drug treatment program at the county jail to general operating expenses.
“It’s just a base 10 million that we were able to keep from the American rescue plan, Act funding and that will go to sustain you know, long-term operations and whatever capital projects we have,” said Sarah Hoover, Jasper Co. Auditor.
Costs are also going up for court operations, as the county gets ready to launch its new courts building in Joplin.
“Too early to say that it is too early to say exactly. What we do know is of course, that our insurance has gone up. The cleaning costs have gone up. There’s really a lot. It is quite a bit bigger than our old building, I think three times the size actually. And so of course those things are gonna go up,” said Hoover.
And the Jasper County budget has grown to cover the cost of utility bills and gasoline, trying to keep pace with inflation.
“We do know it is a lot higher than 2022. We have, you know, our road patrol. And it’s out there using a lot of gas and so we did see a big increase there,” said Hoover.
Some county tax revenue is up.
“The latest calculations look like sales taxes are up about 4%,” said Hoover.
But they aren’t planning on any big increases in 2023.
And finally, county employees will also benefit from the new budget.
It factors in a three percent cost of living increase, as well as four months of premium pay.
That means extra pay ranging from $500 to $4,000 depending on years of service and whether they’re full-time or part-time.