Fiscal Court passes first reading of budget; County to renegotiate Parks and Rec contract
Published 11:07 am Tuesday, May 30, 2023
BY FIONA MORGAN
The Fiscal Court passed the first reading of the county’s 2023-24 budget at their meeting on May 23. The budget will go to the state for approval, and then the county will hold a second reading.
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Judge Executive Trille Bottom said the budget is a result of long discussions during budget workshops, and is happy with the collaboration that occurred.
The budget is higher than last year, at a total of $71,050,142. The total numbers for each area are below:
• General fund – $25,871,359
• Public Works – $4,285,158
• Joint Jail – $5,844,783
• LGEA fund – $138,210
• Bond proceeds – $25 million
• State grant funds – $200,000
• Federal grant funds – $265,554
• E911 fund – $246,200
• Health Insurance fund – $2,558,150
• Boyle Jail fund – $90,610
• Emergency Medical Services – $4,660,519
• Fleet Management – $226,574
• County Clerk – $92,020
• Opioid fund – $34,305
• ARPA fund – $1,536,700
“I think this has been an open and transparent budget process, with a lot of input through the way,” Magistrate Jamey Gay said. “I think it’s a budget that’s fiscally responsible, and really touches every department in a positive way and continues to help us better serve the citizens.”
Parks and Recreation
The court passed the budget with the exception that they withhold the first quarter appropriation to Parks and Recreation until they renegotiate the Parks and Recreation contract.
Magistrate Tom Ellis explained that since they signed the Parks and Rec contract about three and a half years ago, there have been significant deficiencies in delivery to the county. Due to lack of communication, the court has been unaware of how Parks and Recreation is spending the county’s funds.
The county’s contributions are paid through the fiscal year, which ends at the end of June.
The first quarter of the new fiscal year funding is about $344,000, which they will give after a satisfactory redraft of the contract.
Bottom said they sent a letter about all the issues to Danville City Manager Earl Coffey.
She read some the letter, which says: “The agreement states in part that all funds must ultimately be tied to actual expenditures supported by adequate documentation, and the county must be allowed to inspect all public records of the city in relation to Parks and Recreation, and be supplied with a general ledger for services rendered as described.”
Bottom said they have not received general ledger information from Parks and Rec in the last three years. The fiscal court has not received any report, including quarterly reports, from Parks and Rec or any city staff member. So in their letter, the court is asking for communication.
They’ve also not been informed of any Parks activities or events outside city limits, so the court is asking for a schedule of programming.
The county was also not made aware of grant applications, whereas the contract states it must be made aware. Bottom said they’re not receiving meeting notices, invitations, agendas or minutes of Parks meetings.
The letter says magistrates have requested representation to the Parks and Recreation committee, since they are contributing significant funds. Bottom said they will be discussing these issues with Danville officials, and will work on renegotiating the contract.