Eastern District is seriously over budget, Presiding Commissioner warns

Darrell Todd Maurina

PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Aug. 4, 2022) -- Eastern District Commissioner Charles Bassett is seriously overbudget in his road expenditures, Presiding Commissioner Gene Newkirk announced Thursday morning, and that could have serious consequences not only for the county but personally for Bassett, Newkirk said. "I have to inform you guys that when you know you are over budget, you can be held personally responsible for everything over budget... anything you spend from here on with asphalt or rock, I have to tell you about that."

Bassett said that's not the full story.

"We didn't ask for all the flooding we got. We had hoped for a disaster declaration and so far we haven't gotten one," Bassett said.

"And you won't," Newkirk said, "It has to be up in the millions."

Western District Commissioner Clinton Jarrett asked if Bassett's problems will affect him.

"On the lines that are separate, I can't be held liable for Charlie's side, can I?" Jarrett asked.

"Absolutely not. If it's $6,000, $7,000, that happens.... but Charlie, you're sitting $26,000 over in rock and $43,000 in asphalt," Newkirk said.

"I don't have that," Bassett said.

"I'll get you a copy of it," said County Clerk Dave Ernst.

Newkirk said the numbers he's citing are from bills that will be presented by the Willard Asphalt plant that haven't yet been submitted but are coming.

"The other thing you need to remember is even if you get ARPA money for road and bridge, you cannot backfill it into any of your budget," said County Treasurer Sue Rapone.