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Almost a budget

Reductions made, math errors corrected to bring it into balance

By reducing four line items and correcting math errors, the 2016 budget passed by Lawrence County Commissioners now balances.

On Thursday the commissioners passed a record $17 million budget. However, hours later a review by the county auditor’s office showed there were math errors and that the document did not balance with almost $100,000 appropriated that did not exist.

In December, the budget commission, made up of Stephens, the county treasurer and county prosecutor, certified $11,616,395 for the general fund. However, the commissioners have appropriated $11,709,177 or $92,782 more than should have been.

But on Friday the auditor’s office reported that with those changes made by the commissioners and staff the budget did now balance.

Supplies for the maintenance including postage, cleaning supplies and toilet paper were reduced by $15,000 from $135,000 to $120,000. Contract services covering the courthouse’s phone bill, electricity, gas and water were cut by $51,000 from $225,000 to $174,000.

The annual debt service to pay off a bond issued to cover the North Huntington Heights repair project in Chesapeake was cut in half to $2,700. Another debt service line item to pay for the courthouse’s mapping system and voting equipment for the board of elections was reduced from $25,000 to zero.

Now, according to commission president Les Boggs, the revised budget will come before the commissioners this Thursday for a second vote.

“I think we will have to vote on it next week to make those adjustments,” Boggs said.