Gadsden County Clerk of Courts Nicholas Thomas gave the commission the “good and the not so good” news of the county’s financial status.
The good, he explained, was that last year was a good year; the not so good was, “you have reached your crest.”
He said the county as of October 1 had nearly $6 million in unrestricted funds.
This year, to balance the 2013-2014 budget, Thomas said the county used $700,000 of those funds, leaving a little over $5 million.
There is going to be pressure to fund other things, he said, referencing public works as an example.
According to Thomas, fuel taxes that are used by that department for funding are dropping.
He recommended that the commissioners use “caution” when deciding future financial issues.
He added that the clerk’s office was seeing about 30 tax deed sales a month.
In response to the comments by Thomas, Commissioner Gene Morgan suggested the board look at setting aside a portion of the unrestricted fund balance as an emergency fund. He recommended about $4.3 million.
Thomas said he would like an amount set for the funds not to go below.
Commissioner Sherrie Taylor said the unrestricted fund balance was designed as an “emergency fund.”
“I don’t think we need to put restrictions on the fund,” Taylor said concerning the unrestricted fund balance.
Commissioner Doug Croley said that the commission holds public meetings each year for the budget and that the commission needed to stick to the approved budget.
Commissioner Brenda Holt stated that the unrestricted funds are a savings and that the money should be used to help create jobs, which she said would help generate more tax revenue.
There was no action on Morgan’s request.
This was a presentation by Thomas and did not require any vote by the commissioners.