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Porter: “Absolutely Unbelievable Good News”

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Porter: “Absolutely Unbelievable Good News”

Calling it the best budget year he’s been associated with, Putnam County Mayor Randy Porter said the current fiscal year will likely end with surplus revenue added back to the general fund.

Commissioners budgeted to take $7 million out of fund balance to meet this year’s expenditures. Instead, Porter estimates the county will save about $4 million this year. With budget decisions at hand, Porter said he will remain conservative.

“Everything looks really rosy right now,” Porter told the County Commission’s Budget Committee Monday night. “If Feds cut interest rates, if the economy should turn down, if building construction slows down, I mean, there’s no way to guesstimate how that’s going to happen. My crystal ball doesn’t work real good when it starts looking at far ahead.”

Porter said the county saved money because most of the 93 new county workers were not employed for the entire year, based on the final budget approval last summer and hiring schedules. Interest revenues also exceeded budget.

“So instead of hitting fund balance, almost $7 million, if it had been the worst case scenario year, revenue came in great,” Porter said. “And then you’ve got these extra funds coming in, so you actually are adding money to fund balance. So we’re estimating that the ending fund balance at the end of this year will be about $29.8 million.”

Porter said if the commission funded every budget request, it would need about $4.6 million in revenue. County Commissioner Chair Ben Rodgers urged the committee members to study the budget documents and come prepared next Monday night to make decisions.

Rodgers said he would like to finish the budget next week.


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