Thursday, June 14, 2007
sponsored by Graue Inc. & Illini Bank

County finance officials see some relief

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[June 14, 2007] 

Audit update

The Logan County finance committee began looking to the future with some optimism when they met Thursday morning. But first the meeting began with the usual bad news -- there's still no 2005 fiscal year audit.

Helen Barrick, the consultant who was hired to assist the county treasurer, Mary Ellen Bruns, in correcting the computer entries to get them in line with the auditor's system, told the committee that they are still working on fixing a few of the due-to and due-from entries.

Finance chairman Chuck Ruben said that John Weber of Crowe Chizek, the auditing company, has offered to write a letter to the state for the Logan County Health Department if there are any grants in jeopardy.

Grants require a copy of the previous year's audit. The health department has an independent audit performed, and that was completed on time, but it gets bundled with the county audit and they are returned together. The health department has been filing extensions with the state to keep two current grants, and there is now a big new grant that they would like to apply for, Sally Gosda, a representative of the health department, said Thursday. She thought that the letter would be appreciated.

The county has received two bills from Crowe Chizek for the 2005 audit: one in May for $10,500 and one at the beginning of June for $15,000. Dick Logan made a motion to hold payment until the audit is completed, and the committee approved it unanimously.

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Budget, current revenues and expenditure

The county has been operating this year on a budget that was created without the benefit of the audit. Committee members found some better news in reviewing current revenues and expenditures and projections for the end of the fiscal year. It is now the six-month marker for the fiscal year. Expenditures should be at 50 percent of the budget and are at 55 percent, or approximately $2,500,000, Vickie Hasprey reported to the committee. This is good at this time. She said it appeared that departments were really holding down their expenses, as they had been asked to do, and they should be credited for doing this. The other committee members strongly agreed.

In comparison, Dick Logan said that that total revenues should come out to roughly $6,022,312 for the fiscal year. This is looking very good, as $5,528,000 had been anticipated and budgeted.

In a brief discussion, committee members felt that the increase is likely due to good economic conditions, new businesses that have come in, and even the higher cost of gasoline would have contributed.

2008 budget process to begin

The committee laid a path to begin the new budget process. Ruben said that he would hope to have both audits in hand when they enter the next budget process. But he could see no reason not to start the process with the peripheral areas that do not affect the general fund, such as Main Street Lincoln, the tourism bureau, Oasis, CIEDC, Logan County Extension and special use fund requests. He hoped to get those budget requests coming in at the end of July or start of August.

[Jan Youngquist]

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