County adopts 2021-22 budget, honors Treasurer Judie Ratering

Judi Ratering (Screenshot, Zoom)

The St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners Tuesday honored longtime Treasurer Judie Ratering, who is retiring later this month, and adopted its 2021-22 budget following a public hearing.

Ratering served as the county’s deputy treasurer from 1990 to 2001, and was appointed treasurer in 2012, after which she was successfully elected by the citizens of St. Joseph County for two consecutive terms. The resolution passed by the commission commended Ratering’s “dedication and professionalism,” as well as her “leadership and many years of devoted public service.”

“The county has always been very good to me – the people, the staff, coworkers, the commissioners – and I always just enjoyed coming to work,” Ratering said. “It’s bittersweet in some ways but I’m really looking forward to retirement and our new journey. Thank you all.”

2021-22 FY Budget

The budget for 2021 calls for $17,525,403 in revenue and expenditures, while the 2022 budget projects $18,225,412 in revenue and expenditures.

Property taxes represent the single largest portion of annual general fund revenues, providing $9.7 million or 57 percent of total revenue for the year, while intergovernmental revenue is the next largest source, providing $5.6 million or 33 percent of total annual revenue. Charges for services, licenses and permits, rents and interests, fines and forfeits, interfund transfers, other revenue, and the use of fund balance provide the remaining $1.7 million or 10 percent.

When adjusted for one-time transfers in, the 2021 General Fund revenue projections are 9 percent under the 2020 budget. The 2020 revenues were higher than expected due to unanticipated local community stabilization dollars and also included almost $1,000,000 in COVID Grants.

According to County Administrator Teresa Doehring, “Recommendations for funding were $318,448 more than proposed revenues, with personnel, health insurance and pension costs continuing to be the largest cost categories. After carefully reviewing revenue estimates and making appropriate adjustments, expenditure requests were reviewed and included in this budget.”

In other business commissioners…

•Approved a Community Corrections Grant Agreement, a Capital Improvement Program Policy Revision, as well as MERS Pension Addendums, and a Medical Examiner Services Agreement.

•Made appointments to the Animal Control Advisory Board, Board of Public Works, Building Authority Board, Central Dispatch Policy Board, Department of Health and Human Services, Planning Commission and Workforce Development Board.

Alek Haak-Frost is executive editor of Watershed Voice.