Clark County Judge-Executive Henry Branham told the Fiscal Court during its regular meeting Wednesday he’d like to see a change in the budget that would keep the county from dipping into the road fund.
The county commonly uses general fund cash to cover jail expenses, but as the general fund dwindles, the county has to borrow from the road fund. The money must be returned by the end of the fiscal year in June. That money is usually recouped from various revenue sources, such as property taxes, occupational taxes and the insurance premium tax, but the first three months of the fiscal year forces the court to do some rearranging of funds.
Branham would like to see that practice change.
“I would like to work out a strategic plan that the general fund would have enough operating expense for the general fund and the jail to operate without using any money out of the road fund,” he said.
While transferring between funds is not prohibited by state government, the practice is looked at with some disapproval.
“All the funds we keep are standalone funds,” Branham said. “They each have to be accounted for and audited individually. They are separate funds and separate budgets, and borrowing between those budgets is basically frowned upon by the state government.”
In 2005, the court looked at making a similar change to the one Branham is suggesting, though nothing was put in writing, he said.
During the Fiscal Court meeting, Branham stressed to the commissioners that a hard look needs to be taken at the budget, in particular the discretionary funds, in an effort to avoid this problem in the future.
“When we end our fiscal year, let’s end with enough cash to operate our general fund and our jail fund until our first property tax payments come in November,” he said. “The first three months, that’s always been the issue.”
In other business, the court also:
— Approved an agreement between the county and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to perform bituminous resurfacing on Pretty Run and Gay Evans roads.
— Authorized the auction of Clark County surplus property.
— Approved the hiring of three volunteer fire fighters and a CSEPP public outreach and public affairs officer.
Contact Casey Castle at email@example.com