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County surpluses reported

September 19, 2000

County surpluses reported



By SCOTT BUTKI / Staff Writer


The Washington County general fund ended the fiscal year with a surplus of about $1.9 million, Budget and Finance Director Debra Bastian told the County Commissioners Tuesday.

The highway and landfill funds also had surpluses for the fiscal year that ended June 30, she said.

Much of the general fund surplus, about $1.1 million, was the result of a bookkeeping change involving personal property tax revenue payments, she said.

The rest of the money came from operational savings realized because most departments came in under budget, she said.

The numbers are preliminary, with more definite numbers expected to be available in a few weeks upon completion of an audit, she said.

The commissioners approved Bastian's suggestion that they move about $1.4 million from the general fund surplus to the Capital Improvement Program fund, she said. The commissioners will decide later on what capital project that money will be spent.

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Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook praised Bastian and other county employees for helping the county end the fiscal year in the black.

The landfill fund had a $582,000 surplus, with about $350,000 coming from increased revenues and the rest from operational savings, she said.

Some of that money will be needed to pay for increased costs for office and maintenance buildings at the Forty West Landfill, which is replacing the Resh Sanitary Landfill, Bastian said. The new landfill is scheduled to open in mid-December.

The County Commissioners previously had budgeted $450,000 for maintenance and office buildings at the landfill, Public Works Director Gary Rohrer said.

New estimates place the cost of the buildings, which will be pre-engineered, at $850,000, including $500,000 for the maintenance building and $350,000 for the office building.

Rohrer said the earlier budget was prepared under the assumption, which turned out to be unrealistic, that a house could be converted for use as an office building, he said.

Commissioners William J. Wivell and John L. Schnebly expressed frustration at the increased costs.

A more comprehensive update on the landfill project will be available within a few weeks, Bastian said.

Bastian said the highway fund finished the fiscal year with a $980,000 surplus. The surplus was due to a combination of operational savings and highway user revenues coming in about $750,000 higher than expected.

The commissioners agreed to move $875,000 from that fund to the capital improvement fund.

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