- Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 July 2009 05:00
- Published on Wednesday, 29 July 2009 05:00
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The King George Board of Supervisors was last week given an updated forecast for the end of the 2008-2009 fiscal year that puts the county in the black with about $764,056 on the plus side.
Though the fiscal year officially ended June 30, both revenue and expenditures can be accrued back for 60 days in accordance with last year’s adopted budget.
That’s a big turnaround for the county budget. After the economy took a downturn last fall, year-end deficits were being projected of over a million dollars in the red.
The latest end-of-year balances were provided at the July 21 meeting by Donita Harper, Deputy County Administrator & Director of Finance.
“I want to stress that all of the financial reports I give tonight are preliminary and the numbers will change,” she said.
In December, she told supervisors it could end up with as much as $1,394,125 in the red.
That’s because revenue collections had dropped in all areas, including taxes from real estate, personal property and recordation. In addition, collection of fees from building and other permits had plummeted.
That’s when supervisors directed County Administrator Travis Quesenberry to implement across-the-board spending cuts, as well as eliminate all raises, which had been budgeted for county employees to take effect in January.
Supervisors also directed that additional options presented at the time by Harper to reduce the projected year-end $1.4 million deficit be implemented immediately. Those included a hiring freeze and freeze on overtime hours except for emergencies.
Harper said the current year-end projection of $764,056 would likely be adjusted by expenditures and possible revenues that could be charged back and could go up or down.
Harper also told supervisors she was preliminarily projecting the School Board to close its books for 2008-2009 with $702,734 in the black.
“This is subject to change. There may be revenues that come in for accrual, as well as additional expenditures,” Harper said.
She also indicated that the School Board’s Cafeteria Fund is projected to end the year in the black with about $70,335 leftover.
Supervisor Dale Sisson inquired about the current projected year-end balance for the School Board of $702,734, saying, “On that number, that will return back to the county unrestricted to our general fund? It’s not like its restricted grant funding?”
Harper said the unspent amount was expected to remain in the county general fund, with any grant funds being carved out for future reappropriation.
Under state law, local funds unexpended by a School Board remain with the governing body appropriating the funds.
Harper said that she expected to supply the board with unaudited actual figures in September, after the books close in the end of August.
The School Board’s projected year end balance of $590,257 left unspent is higher than estimated last month by Harper, when she forecast from a report of revenues and expenditures generated as of May 31, prepared in conjunction with Superintendent Candace Brown.
At that same meeting on June 16, a request forwarded from the School Board had also asked supervisors to give them an additional appropriation of $125,000.
The School Board wanted the additional funding to spend $93,000 for a handicapped accessible bus and $9,000 for a lawn mower, with the rest to go for Sealston Elementary School, with $4,587 on technology items and $18,413 for more playground equipment.
Supervisors could not make sense of the School Board’s request for additional funding since it had been publicly announced by Brown in May that the division was expected to again turn back money at the end of the 2008-2009 fiscal year.
At a School Board meeting on May 13, Brown informed the School Board she expected a year-end surplus, which at the time she said was in the neighborhood of $600,000.
Brown said she would likely spend a portion on materials and supplies for next school year, but even with those expenditures, Brown was adamant the division would end up with a minimum of $236,000 leftover on June 30.
Brown told the School Board on May 13: “We are going to have $236,000 left, period. That is money that we are not going to spend.”
By Phyllis Cook, Staff Reporter