By: Laura-Jane Hatcher (WRGA News)
It’s almost three weeks into the New Year, and Floyd County is still without a finalized budget for 2013.
Facing significant revenue loss, the commission has been careful in crafting their financial plan. Several county departments have come before commissioners at budget hearings in both November and December, explaining their projected spending. And even with expenditures tightened down by 3 ½%, it’s still not enough to cover the estimated 3 million net-effect revenue decrease looming in the books. To balance the budget, the county was forced to pull from its reserves--a move that Finance Director and Interim County Manager Gary Burkhalter has described as ‘typical’for tight times such as these.
“The difference between the two---revenue and expenditure totals—-we have reserves that we draw from to balance the budget, to make up the difference between the totals. In several budgets, we’re using a portion of the reserves that those budgets have accumulated over time, and so the budgets are balanced in that manner,” Burkhalter said. “This is typical. We have done this for several years. That is one reason that we have reserves during times like this that you can draw on, and that is what we have been doing for the last few years.”
Though purse strings are tight, commissioners are not expected to up the millage rate. An official budget will likely emerge from an 8am work session scheduled for the commission Wednesday. The prospective financial plan will then be voted upon at the county’s January 22nd meeting.