Commissioners OK supplemental budget

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RBC — At the same time county staff is busy working on the 2009 budget, commissioners approved a supplemental budget for 2008.
Minus Chairman Forrest Nelson, who was absent, Commissioners Joe Collins and Ken Parsons on Monday adopted a supplemental budget for 2008 and approved appropriating budget transfers.
Moving money from one fund to another provides a paper trail and is a standard practice, said Diane Sorensen, county budget director.
“The budget for governments, we are required to budget expenditures for the year, which is called being appropriated, and you can not spend any money that has not been appropriated,” Sorensen said. “So these transfers were money that were appropriated in one fund, and it turns out we did not spend it in that fund, but will spend it in another fund or department, so that it can be legally spent. It’s a compliance issue.
“It’s very common (practice for local governments), because it is hard to predict what’s going to happen,” Sorensen added. “Almost everyone does like a mid-year (adjustment). Governments are held legally to these budgets, and to do any changes you have to do these supplements. Amending the budget, is, basically, what it is. And, of course, you have to have the revenues to cover this.”
By far, the biggest appropriation was for the Social Services Fund, which was increased from $922,554 to $2,200,417 to pay for 100 percent of actual expenditures.
“In years past, we accounted for social services only at the county’s portion (20 percent), and the state supplements social services at almost 80 percent, generally,” Sorensen said. “It’s not appropriate for us to tell the public that’s all it cost the county (the 20 percent). We have to do it at 100 percent. It’s called grossing it up. You can’t spend more than you budgeted.”
The additional revenue comes, primarily, from grants and fees.
“The revenues, especially for like social services, was grant money (from the state),” Sorensen said. “The additional money (for the budget transfers) comes from grant monies or fees or permits we hadn’t counted on when we first did the original budget.”
In addition Monday, commissioners approved a transfer of $4,425,300 from the Special Project Department in the Road and Bridge Fund to the Impact Fee Trust Fund.
“When we budgeted for ‘08 in 2007, we had the money in road and bridge, but in (June) ‘08, we made the new Impact Trust Fund,” Sorensen said. “We just didn’t, at the same time, transfer the money from (a different fund) into the Impact Fee Fund. We transferred the revenues, we just didn’t transfer the expenditures. It’s against the law to spend any money that has not been budgeted or appropriated.”
Sorensen said the money transferred from to the Impact Fee Trust Fund will be used for road projects.
“It will be used for three different projects budgeted for, originally, in the Road and Bridge Fund, but with the adoption of the Impact Fee Fund, we are now transferring money to the new fund, so we can account for these impact fees,” Sorensen said.”No additional money is being allocated. These are impact-fee projects, so all of the revenue and expenses is being transferred to that fund.”
As far as the 2009 budget process, Sorensen said commissioners have had their individual meetings with department heads to review their proposed budgets.
“It’s been overwhelming, but it’s going well,” Sorensen said. “Now, we are putting it all together.”
Commissioners will adopt the budget on Dec. 8.