Glenn County supervisors eye budget deficit
Faced with a $225,000 shortfall, Glenn County supervisors are looking to use $258,000 of one-time money to fill in the gap for the 2012-13 fiscal year.
They directed Finance Director Ed Lamb and Assistant Director Deborah Storz on Tuesday to use $250,000 from the county's hospital property sale to ease the deficit.
While the sale of the Sycamore Street facility to Glenn Medical Center is yet to close escrow, the sale is proceeding, county officials said.
Board Chairman Steve Soeth and Supervisor Leigh McDaniel hoped to retain $790,000 in one-time funding in the county's reserves, but that will not be practical, they said.
Last month, the board asked Lamb and Storz to take the $790,000 out of the equation and work with the $328,586 carryover from the end of the 2011-12 fiscal year.
But revenue adjustments highlighted this week indicate court revenues will be $125,000 less than anticipated, Lamb said.
This brings total revenue sources down by about $289,000, he said.
Finance officials initially thought revenues would by down $301,000 when adding a $176,000 loss in the Sheriff's Department.
However, $12,000 more in recorder revenues dropped that figure to the $289,000, Storz said.
Utility expenses for Glenn County's Juvenile Hall also exceeded last year's figures by $28,000, Lamb noted, while the county's "Cloud" Internet connection with AT&T rose by $20,000.
The board also approved the hiring of a public service employee by the district attorney's office for another $33,000 in expenses this fiscal year just minutes before the budget presentation.
Ultimately, Soeth said "We will have to dip into the $790,000."
He asked Storz and Lamb to come back later in the month with the new configuration in time to have public hearings on the final budget that must be approved by Oct. 2.
In the meantime, the county will try to keep the $583,000 in courthouse funding in reserve for as long as possible, officials said.
It also is putting off hiring a new personnel director and an internal auditor for the finance department until after the Nov. 6 general election.
"That would be a substantial amount of money," McDaniel said, of the personnel director's position. They would be looking at $100,000 a year.
Soeth added he is "cautious" about spending money for ongoing expenses because it is difficult to maintain.
County Counsel Huston Carlyle is serving as interim personnel director.
But the county does not know how voters will respond to tax initiatives on the November ballot which could lead to the loss of state funding for a variety of programs.
That is why board members say they are uncertain about the county's budget in the spring and into next year.