PALMYRA, Mo. -- The Marion County Commission on Monday agreed to increase the county's allocation to the Juvenile Justice Center in Hannibal by $50,000 this year.
The additional funding was requested by Judge Rachel Bringer Shepherd, who oversees the Juvenile Justice Center on behalf of the 10th Judicial Circuit covering Marion, Ralls and Monroe counties.
Shepherd told Marion County's commissioners the county's annual allocation of $148,074 for its share of the center's "maintenance of effort" expenses is about to run out with more than three months remaining in the fiscal year.
She said the additional $50,000 should cover anticipated costs for the rest of 2018.
Presiding Commissioner Lyndon Bode said the center's expenses have been higher than usual this year mainly because of the escalating cost of hiring attorneys to represent youths who enter the court system by way of their involvement with the Juvenile Justice Center.
Bode said Marion County -- the largest of the three counties served by the center -- pays the largest proportional share of the "maintenance of effort" budget, or 61 percent. He said the county's annual allocation of $148,074 "is a line item that's been the same for a number of years," even though the center's legal expenses have been edging up in recent years.
Bode said Ralls and Monroe counties are not being asked to increase their allocations at this time "because their budgeted amounts are still in line" with each county's share of the total costs.
Bode said it's possible Marion County may need to increase its annual allocation for 2019 because of the center's rising expenses.
He said the Marion County Commission will meet again with Shepherd in November to review the current funding situation for 2018 and will also talk about budgetary needs for 2019.
Bode said the Marion County Commission will be able to pay for the additional 2018 allocation out of the county's general revenue fund, which is in good shape because of higher-than-expected sales tax revenues coming in this year.
"It's been a good year, so we feel comfortable in handling a special need like this," he said. "We needed to take care of business and live up to our commitment to pay the bills."