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Measure to restore Tourism funding fails

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No action was taken at the last budget committee meeting, Bradshaw said.


While the measure was voted down, Finance Director Aaron Maynard noted some departments have cut back on their budgets but not by a large amount. He said seven departments have cut $11,728 of recurring expenditures from their budgets.


Thats not huge, but it is recurring money, he said. We are still looking to close the $834,000 gap. The countys budgeted expenditures are more than its expected revenues, leaving them to take that $834,000 from its General Fund.


Maynard said the 7-cent property tax increase passed on Aug. 27, of which 4 cents goes into the General Fund, was a necessary step for the commission to take.


There would be people in the unemployment line if we didnt do that, Maynard said, adding that he estimated at least 25-30 employees may have been laid off if the commission didnt pass the property tax hike.


Squires were also curious about how the Finance Department dealt with departments over-spending line items, which District 15 Commissioner Mike Justice said was bad business. Justice asked if there was a limit for a department over-spending a line item.


Maynard said departments were allowed to spend more than what was budgeted in an individual line item if the expenditures dont over-spend that departments entire budget. Justice said he didnt want to get into micro-management, but noted a cap should be in place on over-spending.


It hasnt been a huge issue for us, Maynard said of departments being able to spend more than they have budgeted in a line item.


Justice said that policy allows departments to move money freely within their budget and said the line item system was almost pointless if a department can spend more than is budgeted in the line item. Maynard said they could look into placing a cap on over-spending lines, but added if a department overspends repeatedly, they will look into where those expenses are and ask questions about the activity.


Also, District 16 Commissioner Jason Brockman said the county should look into keeping a tighter inventory of supplies and assets after Maynard noted the countys policy has been to not inventory items under $10,000 in value.


Maynard noted the Capitalization Policy has been around for many years and said if an asset is less than $10,000 it is listed as a supply and not specifically tagged for inventory. Brockman was concerned the county does not inventory its computers, given that they fall under the capitalization amount.


Also during the meeting, commission elected two new members to the Budget Committee while voting to keep two of the current members. District 5 Commissioner Jerry McFarland and District 9 Commissioner Sara Patton were elected to the committee, replacing District 20 Commissioner Annette Stafford and District 23 Commissioner Bernie Ash.


Two of the committees current members, Justice and District 22 Commissioner Wendell Marlowe were re-elected to serve on the committee.


Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at phall@wilsonpost.com.

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