Fund balance from lack of paving project, BOC chair says
By Tara DeRock Mahoney
Senior Staff Writer
Morgan County Commissioners were at pains to let citizens know that the excess monies in the counties general fund are for uncompleted roads and bridges projects, and not much else.
“We always use money from that fund to supplement our roads projects. We hadn’t paved any major roads in ‘06-’07,” said chairman Mack Bohlen.
“The reason that we hadn’t…is because we had turnover in [the roads and bridges] department…we didn’t have a [superintendent] in there for a while, and we didn’t get any big projects done. If you take one major road [out of that fund], you’re not going to see a lot of extra money left over.”
Bohlen also noted that he had said as much during an auditor’s report last month.
“We also had ongoing renovations at the courthouse and the creamery,” pointed out Commissioner Ellen Warren.
“Now that things have shaken out, we have a better idea of what we can spend…we’ve also talked about developing a county water system.”
Further, commissioners stated that they expect the county to be more or less on its own when it comes to roads projects over the next few years. All feel that the state Department of Transportation is shifting its focus to metro Atlanta in the coming years, and that not much state money may be available for local paving projects.
“As the [Georgia] DOT well dries up, it’s going to be more or less on us to come up with the money we need [for paving projects],” said county manager Michael Lamar.
“I think, short-term, we’re going to have to maintain our own roads,” agreed Bohlen. “That’s what we’ve got to look to.”
County staff members are looking at major repairs to Bethany Road and Lower Apalachee and Morris Roads at the current time.
Meanwhile, the county has collected some 86 percent of property taxes due, a percentage that is expected to remain more or less stable until residents begin receiving income tax refunds—at that point, in past years, the collected rate typically has jumped to about 95 percent by May 1.
In other business, commissioners selected the Bank of Morgan County and the Exchange Bank of Greensboro as repositories for county certificates of deposit, based on the favorable rates offered.