Morgan County Closes FY20 Budget, Financially Stable Despite Extra COVID Costs

By Benjamin Cox on October 14, 2020 at 11:40am

The Morgan County Commissioners closed out Fiscal Year 2020’s budget yesterday morning with the approval of final budget transfers. Commissioner Chairman Brad Zeller says that this year they didn’t have to do quite as much work in finalizing their budget as previous years: “We don’t have near as many budget transfers as we have had in the past. We used to adjust every line item. After talking to our auditors, it is their belief and our belief that we just have to adjust if someone breaks their final, complete budget like materials and labor. I believe this year, we have 7 line items, and none of them are substantial.”

Zeller says the two largest transfers are due to money coming in via grants and another due to accrued costs due to COVID-19: “Our largest budget transfer would be the county jail, and then, Morgan County Community Services. The jail is about $36,000 and MCS is $27,000. MCS is just a matter of grants. If they get more grants above their budget, then they can go ahead and spend that money. The jail, with all of the uncertainties of COVID and extra prisoners and everything that goes along with that, played a part in their budget.”

Zeller says that the county is still in good shape for its audit next year: “We were able to take money out of our medical insurance line item, so we were able to have a balanced budget through audit time, we believe for sure.”

In other action by the commissioners yesterday morning, new South Jacksonville Police Chief Eric Hansell was appointed to the E-9-1-1 board to replace the retiring Tim Mann. Hansell’s appointment will last until January 2022. The board also returned several properties to the tax rolls by accepting delinquent tax payments. The commissioners also accepted monthly bills in the amount of $62,015.95. Election costs were pulled from this cycle of bills and will be approved for payment at a later meeting.