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Dotti Owens, Ada County Coroner
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Annual Report and Budgets

How is the budget for the ACCO set and what is the basic structure of the system?

Ada County, under a general line item model, is mandated by the Ada County Board of County Commissioners. Each office/department has their own set budget which is brought before the Board and approved on an annual basis. This line item model allows Ada County to get an exact idea of where money is going and how it is being spent, allowing the budget to stay within the ceiling of revenues. This system creates transparency allowing questions to be easily answered in regards to general and specific expenditures. The Ada County Coroner’s budget is divided into an “A” and “B” budget. The “A” budget includes all personnel and benefits. The “B” budget covers the cost of all operations within the office including all office operations, morgue operations, equipment and supplies, vehicles, toxicology testing and expert consultation.

How do out of county autopsies generate revenue?

The Ada County Coroner’s Office provides forensic services to 32 counties and three Native American Indian Reservations through annual service agreements. These agreements consist of forensic services only, as each individual county has their own elected Coroner responsible for administrative and investigative aspects of their cases. In exchange for the use of the Ada County Coroner’s Office facilities and the services of the pathology staff, Ada County generates a substantial source of revenue by charging an autopsy fee to these outside jurisdictions. This agreement is mutually beneficial, however, as surrounding counties lack the caseload to warrant the services of a full time pathologist. This source of revenue has a great effect on the Ada County Coroner’s Office budget allowing nearly 90% of the operating budget, “B” budget, to be paid for entirely with out of county revenue. Because of the large amount of revenue brought in by these service agreements, effectual relationships are important to maintain with other jurisdictions.