Shelby Co. (ECWd) –
The Shelby County Board held a special meeting at 10 AM on the 21st of this month for the purpose of awarding a custom farming contract and approving the annual audit. Kenney Compton was the low bidder of the 6 bids received for custom farming while zero bids were received for the inputs needed to actually put a crop in the ground. We will update you with a new article when we receive all the bids that were submitted. The farm committee meeting is in the bottom video below.
The auditor, once again, was not physically present for the audit presentation but did it by ZOOM instead. We covered our concerns about the audit in this article after the first approval was tabled due to members not being able to hear what was being said through the ZOOM conference.
During the presentation, Mark Bennett asked about the budget numbers for each office as the audit did not provide that type of breakdown as they had in the past. As we first reported, the audit contains a very concerning statement that jumped out at us.
“The County overspent their budget by a significant amount. We recommend the County budget for funds listed in the most recent audit.”
According to County Chairman Bryon Coffman, who read from the audit, no funds had a deficit balance as of August 31, 2022. We can only assume that is because of amendments made to the budget, which we know in some cases were not done in accordance with the law.
While funds may not have had a deficit balance as of August 31, 2022, it is clear the county overspent its budget by a significant amount, but unless you’re familiar with accounting terms and actual meanings of words used, it’s as clear as mud for most citizens.
Bennett was correct, the audit does not provide actual over/under budget information for each department as had been done in the past. Rather than providing an actual over-budget number for the county, the auditor only broke it down for Major Funds.
What do the Major Funds show as it relates to the County Budget, which is a contract with the people?
“Excess of Expenditures over Appropriations” (word salad for over budget) :
- County Health – $40,433.00
- IMRF – $129,377.00
- Social Security – $14,830.00
- County Bridge – $92,707.00
- County MFT – $79,058.00
- Recording $6,716.00
- Airport – $45,262.00
- Local Bridge – $203,756.00
- Township Construction – $234,409.00
- Township Motor Fuel – $3,615,308.00 – (The County DID NOT budget anything for Township Motor Fuel Fund yet those funds were routinely spent)
- GIS – $1,914.00
- Sheriff Special – $21,782.00
- County Clerk Tax Redemption – $382,969.00
- Inmate Commissary – $603,926.00
- Tourism – $95,716.00
“Excess of Expenditures over Appropriations” = $5,568,163.00 (note: if you add up all the columns in the audit on pages 30 and 31 and get $30.00 more than the number we published it’s because the auditor placed page number 30 in the same column as the excess expenditures instead of placing the page number in the center of the page in parentheses.)
Removing the Township Motor Fuel figures that were never budgeted, the excess expenditures over appropriations was $1,952,855.00.
We agree with the audit statement, “The County overspent their budget by a significant amount. We recommend the County budget for funds listed in the most recent audit.”
Due to the audit not breaking down amendments to the budget it is extremely difficult to know which fund or department is or is not over budget before any amendments were made.
A copy of the audit can be downloaded at this link.