County OKs another fund transfer

The Fayette County Board approved another transfer from its capital improvement fund to its general fund on Tuesday.
But a representative of the firm providing administrative services for the county said that the county’s budget is currently in good shape.
The county approved transferring up to $350,000 from the capital improvement fund, and Kat Lange of Bellwether said that the resolution allowing the transfer includes a stipulation that funds received through property taxes be used to repay the amount transferred.
That’s unlike the numerous previous transfers made to the general fund to meet the county’s expenses.
The capital improvement fund was established after the county received $5.5 million for its coal rights on about 160,000 acres more than a decade ago.
Lange said the transfer is needed because “we are currently experiencing a cash flow problem.”
That, she said, is because a large portion of the income in the general fund is property tax payments, received twice a year, and that this loan would be repaid in full after the two tax distribution payments are received.
Despite the need for a temporary transfer, Lange said, the county is on track to end the fiscal year as budgeted.
Board member Chad Austin asked whether the current budget includes a line item to repay the transfer, and Lange said that it does not, because Bellwether concentrated on getting “a budget that was sound.”
But, she said, in future, such considerations will be made in budget preparations involving Bellwether, board members and the county's department heads.
Stating that the county is not in a position to make cuts, Austin questioned whether Bellwether is looking at recommending increases in property taxes to repay the fund transfers.
Lange confirmed Austin’s feeling that tax increases would only be “a last resort.”
Also at Tuesday’s meeting:
• The board approved the reappointments of David Wasmuth of Shobonier and Charles Barenfanger of Vandalia and the appointment of Karen Miller to the Fayette County Hospital District Board of Directors, all for three-year terms ending June 30, 2021.
• The board accepted the resignation of William E. Ireland from the West Loudon Drainage District Board and the appointment of Janet Ireland to that board, for a two-year term that ends on Sept. 30, 2020.
• The board approved the renewal of a liquor license for the Lake Club of Vandalia (Shrine Club).
• The board approved a preliminary engineering agreement with Hampton, Lenzini and Renwick of Springfield for the replacement of a box culvert 3½ miles west of St. Peter on County Highway 23.

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