While fending off questions from citizen Joe Webb, the Fannin County Board of Commissioners approved its 2013 Budget during its November meeting. Mr. Webb had several concerns regarding the $19 million budget, such as the county surplus, the water authority loan amount and board of elections funding.
“What is the current county surplus and what is it projected to be at the end of next year?”
Webb asked . Commission Chairman Bill Simonds said the surplus was $885,000 and that amount will be held next year, just as it has been held for the past 3 1/2 years. Webb aslo wanted to know how much the county had loaned the water authority and details of the payback schedule for these funds.
“One million and ninety thousand,”
“Payback will start when they receive their loan from the USDA.”
During the last commissioners’ meeting, Webb questioned the inclusion of the water authority budget with other departments, asking why it was not seperate or itemized. County Clerk Rita Kirby said the reason for this is that the water authority is operating on loans pending per work.
Regarding the board of elections, Webb asked why the elections board was scheduled to receive $245,000 in funding during an off election year when it received $188,000 in 2010 and $96,000 in 2011. Chairman Simonds explained that the county is required to purchase and install state mandated software that costs a minimum of $100,000.
Following Webb’s questions, Simonds requested a motion to approve the budget for 2013. Commissioner Earl Johnson made the motion and the budget was approved unanimously
In the wake of the approval, Simonds said he realized the county had some problems with funding and that it needed to set and complete certain priorities. Commissioner Larry Joe Sosebee then requested the approval of his fellow commissioners to establish a collection-box for nonperishable food items for the Feed Fannin food pantry.
“I think everybody should chip in a little bit for the less fortunate because we don’t know how blessed we really are until we see it,”
Sosebee said. Commissioner Johnson reiterated that all organizations and individuals are struggling and that the number one concern in the Fannin County non-profit organizations is simply funding. Funding has affected everyone ranging from the Health Department to the public library, including Feed Fannin, Heat Fannin, Open Arms and many others.
The meeting continued with the approval of the minutes from the November 13th meeting and the updated lodging ordinance.
Fetch your news will provide more extenisve coverage of the 2013 budget in the near future. We have requested more extensive records of previous budgets for the county. Once they are received, we will provide you with more information.