N’hampton finances projected to break even

Published 8:51 am Tuesday, April 27, 2010

JACKSON — Northampton County finances are on the way to breaking even at the end of the fiscal year in July.

On Monday, the Northampton County Board of Commissioners heard a third quarter fiscal year financial report from Finance Officer Dot Vick.

As of March 31, the operating budget showed net revenues over expenditures of $3,019,115.16. Vick noted that a Department of Social Services reimbursement of $114,923 had been received, but not recorded in March.

Vick said this is down from February and it was expected to be down.

The county’s enterprise funds (water and solid waste) are both running with revenues over expenditures. The water fund revenue stands at $757,344.66 and solid waste stands at $242, 285.13.

Vick said the water fund is showing an increase of around $14,000 from March 2009. Despite dropping last month, the solid waste fund is operating in the black and showing an approximate $57,000 increase over last March.

Vick noted she expects the solid waste fund’s revenue to drop by the end of the year, when taxes drop off.

“We will probably be in the red then by approximately $250,000 to $300,000,”she said.

Listed under her concerns, Vick said sales tax revenues are down by approximately 14 percent from budget with the largest debt payment due in June.

She added that the balance in contingency was $43,394.95 as of April 9.

Vick said she felt like the county’s financial situation is okay and while some revenues she feels are not going to come in, there are more revenues over budget than there are expenditures under budget.

“Looking at it I think we’ll break even,” she said.

Commissioner Robert Carter asked to express to the county department heads that though they are under-budgeted to still work to maintain their budget.

“Because we’re going to need every penny we can get in the next budget year,” he said.

Commission Chairperson Fannie Greene questioned Vick about the solid waste fund projected to be in the red and the procedures the county had put in place to help that fund.

“Are we just playing catch up now with the things that we already put in place,” Greene inquired.

“When compared, we’re up a little bit, but it was too much to catch up to come out in the black in one year,” responded Vick. “I’m hoping next year we will be.”

Vick said what she will probably recommend is when the fund is in the red at the end of June to make a contribution from the general fund so solid waste can start anew.

County Manager Wayne Jenkins discussed the solid waste fund further.

“The solid waste curbside collection is self supporting; it is generating more funds than it actually costs, we fixed it; it’s not bleeding anymore,” he said.

Jenkins continued by explaining the other portion of solid waste. He said the county uses a closed landfill that must be maintained and monitored and three staff members are assigned to the site and the county has liability and operating costs there.

Vick also noted that if a citizen is not paying their taxes then they’re not paying their solid waste fee either.