Where will the money come from?

Published 10:10 am Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Beset with the old problem of having more going out than coming in, the Lawrence County Commission will meet Monday with other officeholders to discuss possible short-term solutions to the county’s budget crisis.

The work session was the brainchild of Commissioner Les Boggs, who said while some changes enacted earlier are more long-term in nature, the county needs to find more immediate solutions to its financial problems.

Boggs said Local Government Funds, money given to the county by the state, are $89,000 below what was given last year. The county has a half million dollars in unpaid bills and most of the money in the county’s general fund is right now meeting payroll, health insurance and Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) obligations.

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“We’re living from payday to payday, so to speak,” Boggs said.

The county has $370,244.46 in its general fund as of 3 p.m. Tuesday. According to information from the Lawrence County Auditor’s Office, the county needs $60,000-$65,000 monthly for PERS, $100,000 monthly for health insurance and $440,000 each month for payroll— except for those months when there are three paydays and May is one of them.

The county will not likely have any large influx of money until probably August— after the second-half tax collection period ends and the books are reconciled.

“The finances are as bad as I’ve ever seen,” Commission President Jason Stephens said.

The meeting will begin at 9 a.m.