County To Release 2018 Budget Jan. 19

The 2018 Crawford County budget will be released to the public Friday, Jan. 19, according to County Clerk John Martin.

Martin said Tuesday the county will go over the budget Tuesday, Jan. 16 and if needed, Wednesday, Jan. 17.

According to Martin, the county is looking at a $164,000 deficit in the general revenue. Martin said the county is waiting to hear whether a murder trial for Oryon Guinn will go through. Guinn’s trial is scheduled to take place in Dent County April 4-14.

If Guinn pleads and the trial is cancelled, Martin said it will relieve the county between $55,000 to $65,000.

Crawford County Circuit Court Clerk Karen Harlan estimated the trial will cost between $110,000 to $120,000. Presiding Commissioner Leo Sanders said he was called to Judge Kelly Parker’s quarters and told to expect the trial to cost between $80,000 to $120,000.

Martin disagreed with those numbers. “They’re there for jury duty, not vacation,” he said, adding unless the jurors are taken out for steak dinners he doesn’t see where the aforementioned totals would come from. “As a taxpaying citizen, that’s ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous.”

Martin said there is one hotel in Dent County to service the jurors and two restaurants where they can get food.

“They have to pay ‘x’ number for daily duty,” he said. “They have to pay for travel expense, except they are not traveling anywhere. The real charge is overtime for the deputies they are going to use. I have heard that is easily calculable.”

According to Martin, Dent County spent $54,000 for a trial in St. Charles.

Passage

The commission is expected to vote on the budget on Jan. 30. Martin said a public hearing will be held that day residents to make suggestions.

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