Jefferson County Commissioners were told Thursday that their finance officer no longer anticipates a cash flow issue in June of 2014. While July promises to offer one of the lowest amounts of cash on hand, Tim Stanton shared that the county's actual versus budget numbers are currently in accordance with the budget.
But, Stanton said, "we still need to keep working to reduce." He reiterated to commissioners that the minimum amount that should be in the fund balance is 16.67 percent of the general operating expenditures. The county currently is at 10 percent, he said.
Stanton announced to commissioners that the State Auditor's office has accepted over $1 million in proposed cuts to the current budget. Approximately $207,000 of proposed cuts submitted to the state for revision of the current fiscal year budget were not initially approved. Stanton explained that those monies may have potential ties to insurance or benefits and will take longer for approval.
Stanton told commissioners that with cuts already made and proposed cuts that they will vote on this week, the $3.9 million deficit is coming in now at approximately $1.2 million. A transfer of coal severance dollars into the general fund and potential increases in transfer tax fees and other potential fee increases helped eliminate some of the deficit.
Stanton said tat if the commissioners can cut another $700,000 they should be closer to a balanced budget. He explained that there are areas of excess spending that could be tapped; however, those areas fall under the scope of elected officials.
"The electeds have to give it," Stanton said. He went on to say that initial meetings with those elected officials have been helpful. Every department has given back some monies to the coffers; however, more funds are needed to balance the budget.
Commissioners are scheduled to meet every Thursday in January, while their normal meeting schedule has been modified to only meet every other week. The two extra meetings in January are to focus on budget issues as the five attempt to reach a balanced budget not only for their current year, but also prepare one for the upcoming fiscal year.