A review of the first month of the 2013 fiscal year shows things off to a slow start.
Revenue sources were slightly under projections for July, according to a financial report at Friday’s County Commission work session. One of the biggest dips is in fines and forfeitures, which in July was down about 22 percent compared last year. County Finance Officer Scott Turk said the number is not easily predictable, but the county already was anticipating fewer collections.
“Our entire fines and forfeitures are actually not doing too bad for what we expect,” Turk said. “They are down from last July compared to this July … there’s no telling when people are going to commit crimes, when they’re going to be sentenced, when they’re going to pay fines.”
County Manager Tod Tentler said the number tends to fluctuate, but the county has been budgeting the amount lower.
“One month is not a real good snapshot, it just tells you where we are right now,” Tentler said. “It will be two to three months in before it starts to take shape.”
Altogether, the county had received about 3.6 percent, or $1,371,770, of its total budgeted revenue for the 2013 fiscal year. July represents 8.3 percent of the budget year.
In expenses, the county also was low at $2,430,345, or 6.5 percent of its total budget. IT expenses were almost four times higher for the month because of a mainframe computer that had to be replaced, Turk said. The sheriff’s, district attorney and elections offices all were slightly above the monthly percentage.
Turk noted that some expenses come heavier at certain times of the year, so although it may be high for one month, it usually will drop and even out in later months.
In all, expenditures were 25 percent lower in July compared to last year, “which should be commended,” Turk said.
In the last six months of the current special-purpose, local-option sales tax, the county expects to end up with about $64 million out of the originally projected $70 million, about 8 percent low.
Turk said the county also will begin placing a monthly update on the SPLOST projects on the county website at www.troupcountyga.org. Anyone who wishes can view the report, which shows all the projects funded and their costs.
Turk also said copies of the annual audits of the SPLOST projects also are posted online at the Department of Community Affairs website and in local libraries.
Commissioner Morris Jones said the county wants to make sure anyone who wants to see a list of SPLOST projects and expenses has access. Addressing concerns by some county commission candidates who said in past political forums that they were unable to get a copy of a report, Tentler said if he is contacted, he will make sure anyone who wants a report may get it.
“We want to make sure everything is on top of the table,” Jones said.
In another matter, the commission is expected at its regular meeting Tuesday to vote on budget amendments to add revenue and expense items for DUI, drug and juvenile courts to reflect state grants. The items will be budget neutral, because the county has to spend the money to get the state grants that will cover the cost, Tentler said.