Windfall to shore up budget deficits

Published 12:03 am Sunday, August 23, 2015

Two years after receiving a gift of $250,000, the county has decided how it will spent that money, covering anticipated shortages in officeholders’ budgets.

That allocation was part of almost a quarter of a million dollars in transfers and approximately $420,000 in appropriations to make sure budgets end the year in the black.

“This happens every year,” said chief deputy auditor Chris Kline. “Usually we do it around October when it’s crunch time. Now we are going to be proactive.”

In August of 2013, the county and the city of Ironton each received checks for $250,000 following the transfer of the Sherman Thompson Towers, a senior apartment complex in Ironton, to LM Associates.

Earlier that year LeRoy Eslinger of LM Associates had sought help from the county commission to negotiate with the local housing authority so his company could own the complex.

The city immediately spent its check, but the county sought an opinion from the state auditor to make sure it could use the money and not have to repay it later.

Of that money $24,600 was allotted to the sheriff’s office for salaries and insurance; $139,500 to the courthouse for utilities and the jail; $37,200 for health insurance for the prosecutor’s office, $10,100 to county court for salaries and retirement; and $38,600 to cover unemployment and liability coverage for county commission.

The transfers and other appropriations also went to cover expected shortages at the sheriff’s office, county court, prosecutor’s office, jail, commissioners and the EMS.

Shortages ranged from $2,350 to $97,000.