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WJBD - Local News - Marion County's General Fund Balance Loses $900,000 Over Past Six Months

Marion County's General Fund Balance Loses $900,000 Over Past Six Months

By Bruce Kropp, WJBD News

The Marion County Board's Finance Committee Chair is concerned about a rapid decline in the county's general fund balance. Terry Johnston told the County Board Wednesday night there's been a $900,000 drop in the past six months.  "We're down to 1.2-millon dollars in the general fund.  That basically covers a one month payroll and our general bills.  So with the revenues continuing going down and our expenses going up, we have to be watching every penny for the taxpayers," said Johnston.  

Johnston says they don't want to return to the situation they were in 12 years ago where the county was barely staying afloat. 

"I hope it doesn't ever get that point.  I don't want to get to the point that we have our bills in a shoe box because we can't pay them.  All I know is in a six month period we've gone from $2.1-million to $1.2-million.  That's something we have to stop," said Johnston.  

Board Chair Erwin Hahn also has concerns with the declining fund balance, especially with less sales tax money from the state.  He says their biggest unknown right now is animal control and how much that will cost.  The board is paying Centralia $3,000 a month on an interim basis until a new contract can be worked out.  Johnston and two others voted against paying the bills because of the animal control bills.

The board approved a resolution to enter an agreement with United Prison Equipment to repair three sliding doors at the jail that are not currently working and perform preventative maintenance on the others.  The cost of the agreement is $12,600.   

The board agreed to allow the Courthouse Grounds to be used for the National Day of Prayer Reading of the Bible on Thursday, May 2nd, including display of a banner.

The board approved a resolution declaring April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.  The resolution notes DCFS responded to a combined total of 719 cases of alleged child abuse and neglect cases in Marion County in 2010.

The board approved the reappointments of Trina Whipple to the Kell Fire Protection District Board, Rod Hardy to the Odin Fire District Board, Tom Ashby to the Sheriff's Department Merit Board, Douglas Monical to the Iuka Fire Protection District Board and Jack Sanders and Calvin Barbee to the Board of Review.   

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