Finance Committee Chairman Ed Elkins said Monday in a written statement he could not support the proposed budget, but he would do everything he could do to support the fiscal year 2011 Budget and make it work.
The proposed budget met the 10 percent target until Bradley County Commissioner Ed Elkins expressed concern the Register of Deeds would not collect the $300,000 as stated in the proposed budget. He pointed out the office collected $115,000 in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2009. The $300,000 was adjusted down $120,000 which lowered the county’s income enough to drop General Fund balance below the 10 percent target by $29,153.
Dan Howell, executive assistant to Mayor D. Gary Davis, said, “The 10 percent goal is a local target set by the mayor and Commission. Technically we have dipped below the 10 percent goal. The number is 9.91 percent. However, since some departments do not always spend everything in their line items we expect the actual fund balance will still remain at 10 percent.”
Bradley County Financial Management Policies adopted in June 2008 by the full commission describes the reserve fund as money set aside to address operating cost needs, allow for unforeseen needs of an emergency nature and permit adjustments to changes resulting from fluctuations of revenue sources. Sufficient levels of reserves can ensure orderly operations and tax structure stability. The mayor and finance director report to the Finance Committee.
Elkins presented the three-page analysis to commissioners in which he stated he could not support the proposed fiscal year 2011 budget.
“In summary, because of my concerns about the viability of the General Fund expense budgets for the General Fund expenditures, I cannot support the proposed fiscal year 2011 budget,” Elkins wrote.
According to the Financial Management Policy, “It shall be the objective of the County Commissioners to maintain a managed budgeted reserve in the various operating funds at a level sufficient for temporary financing of unforeseen emergency needs and to permit orderly adjustment to changes resulting from termination of revenue sources through actions of other governmental bodies.”
The fund balance at the end of the 2006 fiscal year was $7.131 million. According to annual state audit reports, the reserves peaked at $8.12 million the following year before it began a downward trend to the projected $3.256 million in the 2011 fiscal budget.
According to annual audits, the county General Fund revenue rose from $27.501 million on June 30, 2006 to $29.329 million at the end of fiscal year 2007 and reached $30.354 million in 2008. Revenue decreased to $30.187 million on June 30, 2009. In the new budget document, revenues were estimated to be $30,935.162 at the close of the current year that ended Wednesday. The projected revenue in FY2011 is $30,935,972.
While revenues have been relatively flat, General Fund expenditures rose from $27.031 million on June 30, 2006; $28.506 million at the close of 2007; $31.006 million ending June 30, 2008; and $32.126 million on June 30, 2009. The amended estimate of expenses for fiscal year 2010 (which ended Wednesday) equaled $33.487 million. The estimated expenses for the new year totals $31.052 million.