Morgan County Commissioners Talk Incoming Shortfall and Bills

By Benjamin Cox on May 12, 2020 at 8:47am

The Morgan County Commissioners had a significant amount of bills to approve this morning. Treasurer Jenny Geirnaeirt said that the county will have to look at lack of revenue when final numbers of April come in. “The numbers on our Period 7 March 31st Treasurer’s report are nothing out of the ordinary, and pretty much in the norm of where we would be. I want to note that’s where we were for March, and typically money that we receive from the state at that time, we’re going back to look like more of December and January revenue. I’ve been trying to get [property] tax season started. I’ve been busy with that, but the board and I are going to be looking at things with numbers to see how the pandemic is effecting us with revenues and the lack of revenue we will be receiving due to shutdowns.”

Commissioner Chairman Bradley Zeller said that they will look at most recent numbers to get a handle on the county’s upcoming budget shortfalls.

Geirnaeirt and Zeller said that property tax payments are able to be processed through the county’s drop box outside the courthouse. Geirnaeirt says she’s been fielding calls since property tax bills went out last week. “Tax bills are starting to come in. We have been trying to field those calls by telling people how to pay without physically having to come inside the courthouse.” Zeller said that the dropbox is located at the north side entrance of the courthouse with the Morgan County seal located on the exterior.

Zeller said that the county had $291,171.96 worth of bills to pay this morning. He said it was a relatively high amount for the county: “It’s for two reasons basically. We paid our liability insurance and that total was almost $194,000 of the total. Then, there was a check to Apex Clean Energy for $50,000. When they presented their wind project application and to follow the guidelines of that application, there was a $50,000 deposit to be made for any possible legal costs that the county would incur if there any legal proceedings during this process. There was also a check for $1000 for a proposed turbine permit. When we got that check, in accordance with the ordinance, the $50,000 for legal reimbursement was doubled to $100,000; so it was just an error on their part. We got more money than we were supposed to according to the ordinance, and they have requested that the money be returned.”

Zeller said outside of those 2 items, all other bills were normal county business. The next commissioners meeting will be held on May 18th at 9AM.