GOSHEN — The budget for health in Elkhart County will receive a boost, according to the 2020 proposal signed by the Elkhart County Health Board.

Estimated revenue to the health department based on the 2020 budget includes $300,000 from environmental health, $100,000 from vital records, and $55,000 from the county health nursing department. Revenue from the department is gathered when they charge for food licenses, pools, vaccinations, sexually transmitted infection testing, birth and death certificates, and other public health items provided at a local level.

Board member John Davis said some revenues are not included on the list, including the Healthy Beginnings Dental program, which is self-funded.

“This is an estimate so we’re conservative in our figures because we don’t want to be caught blindsided,” the health department’s manager of administration, Concetta Sanfilippo, said.

With a total of just $455,000 of local revenue expected yearly, the health department also relies on tax revenue, another $2 million.

This year’s schedule also requires higher spending than normal due to an extra pay period, which happens every 11 years. With 53 employees, it becomes a substantial increase.

A 3 percent increase for all health department staff was built into the 2020 budget as it is every year and it’s up to the Elkhart County Council to decide if employees will receive it.

“It depends on how the county council views the future of everything. I’ve been here 19 years, and two years we didn’t get any increase and one year we got 1 percent,” Sanfilippo said. 

Other items included in the budget include $30,000 to replace a van purchased in 2002, and $16,000 to replace an old lead paint analyzer.

The budget was submitted to the county auditor following its approval by the board this week. There will be a hearing during September’s council council meeting to determine if the council will accept the budget as proposed.

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