Members of the committee unanimously passed amendments to the general revenue and expenditure funds, as well as special funds and the road department.
Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis and county finance director Lynn Burns also presented the committee with corrections to the budget proposal. Departments will have the opportunity to appeal their budgets on June 18. During the meeting, committee member Ed Elkins expressed concern about buying vehicles for the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office and ambulances out of the county capital projects fund.
“A lot of these things that we are buying should be being charged to that department, and it should be in their budget,” Elkins said.
He said this could be accomplished through redistributing the amount of property tax going into the fund. Davis reminded the committee new money is not going into capital projects, only a portion of interest. Elkins said the fund was originally created to be for long-term capital projects. These nonrecurring needs could not be fully met within the department’s budgets, given current revenue projections, according to Davis.
“If you want to eliminate it, you can,” Davis said.
In the proposed budget, two vehicles for the Sheriff’s Office are being purchased with department funding and two are being purchased with revenue from the capital projects fund. He reminded the committee that any changes they wanted to make to the budget proposal, as a recommendation from the finance committee, needed to be made before it was presented to the Commission on Monday.
The entire proposed budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year is $32 million, compared to a $36 million budget in the 2011-12 fiscal year. Additional funding, beyond the yearly amount, to put the 911 Communications Center “in the black” was not included in either budget. Davis said he hopes that any Commission member who makes a motion at the next voting session clearly outlines what department budgets the money should come from. To take the funding out of the general fund would put the balance below the required 10 percent of the budget required by state law. In order to be solvent, the 911 Communications Center would need an additional $173,745 from the county in order to avoid the risk of being labeled a distressed district.