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County Commissioners Meeting II: Surplus revenue and ten items of business

Updated: Sep 30, 2022

By Deanna Ryan

Ten items of business were covered by the commissioners on September 19th at 6 p.m. In attendance were chairman Jim Sherrod, vice chairman Hugh Foskey, commissioners Dessie Davis, James Canady, Keith Thompson, administrative assistant Stacey Scarboro, county administrator, Guy Singletary and county attorney Richard McNeely.

David Erwin presented the Mauldin & Jenkins county audit. This was their first year auditing Emanuel County. According to Erwin, for the Fiscal Year 2021 the general fund total revenues were at $14.8 million, $2 million higher than FY20 and a majority of these revenues are derived from taxes. Property tax was around $6.2 million, sales tax was at $1.6 million, motor vehicle tax was a little over $1.3 million, interest and premium taxes were around $900,000 and charges and services were approximately $2.3 million. Expenditures were about $13.3 million, an increase of $1.1 million. As expected the majority of the expenses came from public safety at $4.3 million, public works at $3.3 million and general government at $2.8 million. These expenditures were in line with other counties of a similar size. “In total, the general funds balance over FY2021 increased over $950,000.” This fund balance is the difference between assets and liabilities. “As of fiscal year end, September 30th, the County had an unassigned fund balance equal to approximately nine months of expenditures. What this means is the county could close its doors September 30th, and it could have continued to run nine months without any additional revenue sources. That’s a strong fund balance for a county the size you are and something to be proud of,” stated Erwin.

The first item for discussion was Emanuel Medical Center Hospital Authority vacancy nominations. Smith Edenfield, John Allen Bailey, Rusty Simmons and Kyle Canady were nominated and approved unanimously.

Tripp Fitzner approached the board about a Criminal Justice Coordinating Council grant. He requested that the board approve the receipt of funds for four positions. The grant makes up the salaries so the county doesn’t have to fund them. The motion was passed.

The following motions were all passed unanimously:

  • adoption of the 2022-2023 General Fund Budget of $14,471,125 and special revenue fund budgets

  • adoption of the Local Options Sales Tax for the county

  • purchase of an ambulance for $188,895 through SPLOST and possible grant

  • purchase of a tractor for $62,500

  • adoption of Hatley Plans contract to provide a review of Emanuel County’s existing land use codes for $5,250

  • purchase three Kubota M5-111 tractors at $62,500 each from Perrin Farm Equipment

  • purchase new Motorola 911 radio consoles for a total cost of $577,753

Administrator Singletary addressed the sourcing of Enterprise-leased public vans and fleet-type vehicles at a price several thousand dollars under the public sector’s price. “Two years later when we’ve put a number of miles on that vehicle” and when the vehicle is traded in the private sector, it’s “worth more than what we paid for.” “The idea is if we optimize the rotation of our vehicles, ultimately, in the long run we will save money,” he said. "The average age of our public works fleet is some 13 1/2 years old. The average age of our public safety and sheriff’s office fleet is like nine years old. There’s a lot of wear and tear and maintenance when cars are purchased. So it’s a good program.” Commissioners were excited about the prospect of leasing through Enterprise. Commissioner Canady said, “It will keep our rolling fleet up to date.” The motion was carried unanimously.

Roads are assessed by the commissioners every year. “We have a general idea which roads are going to be resurfaced, but that doesn’t always happen because some roads deteriorate faster than others,” said Singletary. This year they followed the plan pretty closely, but one road in particular jumped up the list - Commissioner Foskey made a motion to “move Garfield and Page Garrett and do surface treatment.” Nixon Road was added to the list. The motion to present the list of roads to the Georgia Department of Transportation was approved unanimously.

Mention was made twice by Singletary about the need for SPLOST to pass in November for the purchasing of public emergency communication and transportation.

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