I am pleased to report I had a productive meeting with the Bates County Commission this morning regarding the Coroner’s Office budget for 2023.
I was very pleased to confirm that the Coroner’s Office came in significantly under budget for 2022. Using that data, I submitted a budget request of almost $19,000 LESS than last year.
Elected leadership means financial prudence and I take a conservative approach to how I spend your taxpayer dollars. We are able to do much with the adequate budget we have, and there is no need to be excessive.
That said, in 2022 total investigations continued to increase as I expected they would. The Coroner’s Office continues to be in an excellent position to handle increased case load with the assistance of a qualified and trained Deputy Coroner, and financial resources to allow any investigative procedures necessary.
The Coroner’s Office has recently partnered with MolecularDX, a premier forensic toxicology service. This has afforded faster turnaround to our toxicology testing and at a decrease in cost from the previous provider.
This allows us to be more efficient in our investigations leading to a decrease in time families wait for a Death Certificate to be signed (in cases involving toxicology). The company offers an online dashboard, meaning toxicology reports are instantly available to the Coroner once testing is completed.
As the remaining 2022 cases become finalized, I will soon publish my annual end-of-year statistics where you may read more about the cases my office handled this year.
In the meantime, thank you for the privilege of serving as your Coroner. It is my goal to maintain the highest of standards while serving you with integrity and professionalism.
All the best in the new year,
Bates County Coroner