Meramec Regional Planning Commission adopts fiscal budget for 2021-22


The Meramec Regional Planning Commission board adopted the budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year at its June 10 meeting. 

Fiscal Officer Linda Loughridge reviewed the budget in detail with members.

The 2021-22 budget projects $3.3 million in revenues with $3.28 million in expenses, leaving the organization with a surplus of $17,012, up $7,637 from fiscal 2020-21. 

The Meramec Regional Planning Commission’s revenue is approximately 68 percent federal funding, 27 percent local and private sector funding, 3 percent membership dues that come from the cities and counties who the commission serves and 2 percent state funding.

Indirect costs, or the costs of running the organization, increased approximately 7 percent from last fiscal year and represents 18 percent of the total agency budgeted expenses in 2021-22, according to Loughridge. 

Management continues to seek ways to reduce overhead costs. According to Loughridge, the Meramec Regional Planning Commission’s largest expense remains personnel with wages and benefits, which is typical of a service organization.

The coming year it is anticipated that a full-time bookkeeper and a full-time community development specialist will be added to the current staff of 29 full-time and six part-time employees. 

The Meramec Regional Planning Commission goes through a budget process twice a year. The commission takes steps to minimize operating expenses and increase revenues as much as possible. 

For more information, residents can contact the commission at 573-265-2993.

In other business, the Meramec Regional Planning Commission board: 

•  Announced the commission’s annual dinner will be Oct. 21 and ticket prices this year will be $35 a person. The External Relations Committee also selected volunteer award recipients for 2020 and 2021 who will be honored in October. The event is planned at State Technical College of Missouri in Linn.

• Proposed a bylaw change to eliminate the Emergency Management At-Large position from the board due to new requirements on how the Meramec Regional Emergency Planning Committee and Meramec Regional Planning Commission can work together.

• Approved two resolutions to defederalize two loan funds granted by the Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration. The funds will continue to be used as loan funds. Legislation passed two years ago allow for Economic Development Administration’s Recovery Loan Fund dollars to be defederalized when the last loan of the original grant is at least seven years old. By defederalizing, the commission can reduce the reporting burden on these funds. 

• Learned that four of the Meramec Regional Planning Commission’s state priorities passed the Legislature this session. Legislators gave approval to the state fuel tax increase, the prescription drug monitoring program, the Wayfair legislation and included a $100,000 increase for State Aid to Regional Planning Commissions.

•  Heard an update from the commission’s planning manager Anne Freand on the Southeast Missouri Transportation Service deviated fixed-route that Meramec Regional Planning Commission is conducting under contract with Southeast Missouri Transportation Service. The study focuses on the cities of Rolla, St. James and Salem.

The board will not meet in July. The next board meeting will be Aug. 12 and will be available via Zoom or in-person attendance.