Today is Saturday, August 19, 2017

Tough budget decisions ahead for commission

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When we close the books I expect the balance to be around $2 million, Maynard said of the fund balance.

Bush and Maynard agreed that keeping at least a certain amount in the fund balance was a good idea. Bush said the county is borrowing money from the fund when expenditures and indebtedness exceed revenues.

If you want to call it borrowing from the fund balance, you can, Maynard said. He added a $6 million minimum would be a safe amount to keep in the general fund, but noted at the countys current size, that was not possible.

We cant build a $6 million fund balance with the way we operate now, he said.

Bush said diminishing the fund balance was not a good idea, and noted the reason the county did not receive a Triple-A bond rating recently was because the fund balance was too low. Maynard agreed, but pointed out difficult cuts would have to be made or taxes would have to be raised to avoid a decrease in the fund balance.

There is a time when youre going to get smaller or youre going to fund the budget, Maynard said.

He said cuts would most likely have to come from personnel in major departments such as emergency services in order to achieve adequate reduction. He said cutting from smaller departments such as Animal Control wouldnt go far in reducing expenditures.

There are millions of dollars that we have spent on things outside those departments that I think we can stop spending money on, Bush said. We are becoming a microcosm of whats happening in our national government.

Bush said the country as a whole is bankrupt and operating with a budget in which revenues do not meet or surpass expenditures would lead to the same result in Wilson County.

During Monday nights meeting, the commission unanimously approved a continuing budget and tax rate based on the amounts set in 2011-2012. The county does not have to approve a budget until July, and Maynard indicated a budget would not be ready until that time.

Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at

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