County’s health getting better, commissioner says

Published 10:03 am Friday, February 4, 2011

Things are looking up.

That was the message of the third annual state of the county report from Commissioner Les Boggs.

Boggs started giving the yearly assessments soon after he came on the commission three years ago.

Email newsletter signup

“People want to know how we are doing,” he told the audience at Thursday’s regularly scheduled meeting.

His assessment is that the county’s financial condition has gone from a grade of poor in 2008 to fair last year to this year’s “stable and improving.”

Boggs divided his report into four categories: revenue stream, debt, cash flows and reserves and efficiency.

He noted that sales tax revenue increased significantly in 2010 bringing in $7,284,394 or an increase of more than $700,000.

“It shows people are shopping more in Lawrence County,” Boggs said.

Of that tax one-half percent went toward emergency services and one percent to operating expenses.

Property tax collection was constant, but the total general fund revenue increased just over $800,000.

Total county debt was at $30,400,000 with $2.1 million of that borrowed for the building of the St. Mary’s medical campus outside of Ironton. Those funds will be paid back by St. Mary’s CAO.

The majority of the remaining debt comes from expansion of the Union Rome Sewer Plant. A recent increase in user rates is expected to cover the current debt payment.

Past due bills decreased last year with all bills that have been turned over to the commission current.

“This commission has worked very hard to make sure bills are paid in a timely manner,” Boggs said.

Overall the county’s financial picture is on the upswing.

“Revenues are up and expenses are down,” Boggs said.