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County amends budget; audit late

By Tyler H. Jones

tjones@civitasmedia.com

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LaGRANGE — The Troup County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday approved amendments to six different budgets and funds totaling $727,481.

The changes affect the 2014-2015 fiscal year and were made in accordance with a state law requiring counties to maintain balanced budgets, according to Buddy Cashwell, the county’s chief financial officer.

Money within each of the six funds was shifted from one area to another where there were shortfalls, with the largest shift — $413,692 — coming in the Troup County Parks and Recreation Endowment Fund. The endowment was established by the Callaway Foundation and may be used for expenses in operating and maintaining recreational facilities within the county.

County officials have said previously the Mike Daniel Recreation Center on Lafayette Parkway has a leaky roof that needs to be replaced and the endowment fund could be used to finance that work.

There were apparent budget shortfalls in the general fund, as well. Slightly more than $170,000 was moved between accounts to cover overages in county equipment maintenance, medical costs at the jail and animal housing for the marshal’s office.

The moved money was unused portions of nondepartmental funds, according to the budget amendment request.

Changes come as the county awaits an independent audit that was due Dec. 31, 2015, according to Cashwell. He said the delay in the report stems from personnel problems at the accounting firm conducting the audit. He said a draft copy of the audit has been submitted to the county and the final report is forthcoming.

The county’s fiscal budget ends June 30 and a new budget, one that is yet to be crafted, begins July 1. Cashwell said the new budget would likely be complete in mid-May and hearings would be scheduled for public input.

AFFECTED FUNDS AND BUDGETS

• General Fund: $170,292

• SPLOST Debt Service Fund: $207

• Law Library budget: $27,750

• Recreation Endowment Fund: $413,692

• Multigrant Fund: $111,463

• Lodging Tax Fund: $4,077

Source: Troup County Budget Amendment Request

Tyler H. Jones is a reporter with LaGrange Daily News. He may be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2155.