County finance leaders finish budget reviews
by JOYANNA WEBER, Banner Staff Writer
Jun 07, 2013 | 601 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Final amendments to the 2012-13 fiscal year budget were approved by the Bradley County Finance Committee Thursday.

The committee also reviewed the 2013-14 fiscal year budget proposal from Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis. The proposal is being recommended to the Commission with only one change. This was to correct the numbers given for tourism development and industrial development expenses.

Some amendments to the 2012-13 budget brought questions from finance committee members.

Committee chairman Ed Elkins questioned an amendment concerning a Homeland Security budget grant. Finance director Lynn Burns said the grant was a reimbursable one and the amendment was to accept funding from a previous year.

Elkins said he would have liked to see an amendment earlier in the year rather than adding it all on at the end. He suggested having an amendment whenever money came in more than $50,000, doing multiple amendments, if necessary.

The amendment showed more than a $300,000 increase in revenue.

“I just think it would be helpful not having a big change at the end of the year,” Elkins said.

A previous amendment that had been deferred was discussed. Finance committee member J. Adam Lowe said he wanted more explanation on why the stormwater department was requesting funding for an additional part-time employee.

Burns presented an explanation from county engineer Sandra Knight that additional personnel were needed due to increased workload in preparation for a Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation audit. The position was proposed as an amendment to the 2012-13 budget. However, the position was also included in the 2013-14 budget proposal. The amendment was approved and the position was retained in the budget proposal.

Questions were asked about an amendment for the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office that showed an increase in medical care costs for jail inmates. Elkins questioned why there would be an increase when it was a contracted service. Elkins said there was an increase over the budgeted number of more than $36,000.

“I don’t know if that’s for some services that were outside the scope of the contract,” Elkins said.

The committee passed a motion to have the chairman of the law enforcement committee ask for explantation of the increase from the BCSO.

Tourism development and industrial development both had budget amendments for $53,000 in increased funding. Elkins said the increase was not reflected in revenue amendments. Burns said the amounts needed to be corrected. The increase in each fund was lower. The increase is because of higher revenue brought in from the hotel/motel tax.

Amendments were also approved for other departments without much discussion. One amendment was a result of a decrease in federal funding due to sequestration, according to Davis.

The finance committee also approved a request for the misdemeanor probation department to retain $25,000 in excess revenue to be used toward creating a workhouse program. If the workhouse is not approved, the money would be returned to the Bradley County General Fund.

Regarding the 2013-14 fiscal year budget, Elkins had a question about increased costs for unemployment compensation. Elkins said this was from a federal extension of unemployment benefits.

“That’s one of those things they mandate, but we pay for it,” Davis said.