In the black

Published 10:40 am Tuesday, February 27, 2018

JACKSON – Northampton County Commissioners got a look at the mid-year financial review during their regular meeting held here Monday. The numbers for the first six months of the fiscal year showed many departments operating in the black so far.

“What you have in front of you is the summary for the mid-year review, which is actually a snapshot of how county departments are spending funds midway through the year,” explained County Manager Kimberly Turner as she presented the information to the Board.

A majority of departments showed their actual spending was under what was planned for the first six months of the current fiscal year. They ranged anywhere from 1 percent to 42 percent under budget, with Code Enforcement, Legal, and Human Resources being the biggest savers so far.

The two departments showing an increase of actual expenditures were Governing Body and the Finance Department with a 3 percent and 35 percent deviation, respectively.

Finance Officer Leslie Edwards explained her departments’ numbers were due to their policy of paying for certain things, such as workers comp, on behalf of the entire county as they usually do each year. Edwards continued by saying the money would be spread back to the other departments in March.

Commissioner Geneva Faulkner asked how much that will affect the other department’s totals, to which Turner replied it typically only changed the numbers by 2 or 3 percent, meaning the departments would still remain under budget.

The total for the whole county showed they were 11 percent under their planned $24.5 million budget at the end of the first half of the fiscal year. Records for the previous three fiscal years showed the same countywide percentage total for the midway mark.

Turner also gave the Board numbers for the two enterprise funds: water/sewer and solid waste.

For water/sewer, their actual revenue amount through December 31 totaled $1,710,581 while the projected number was $1,594,634. Expenditures in the department were 29 percent under the projected budget.

The county manager said she was pleased in particular with the solid waste numbers because “we have not seen a number that high for solid waste in years.”

Solid waste revenue was up 41 percent due to both an increase in tipping fees and a reduction in expenditures.

Once Turner’s presentation concluded, Edwards also presented information about the operating budget for the first two quarters of the fiscal year. She stated the revenues were over expenditures for both the general fund and the enterprise fund. All of the numbers, she said, were improvements from the last fiscal year.