Free Daily Headlines


Set your text size: A A A

County's rainy day fund looks sunny

Henderson County’s bank account is better than healthy.

The county's fund balance grew to a record $17 million thanks to federal CARES Act money, salary lapse from dozens of unfilled county jobs and cost-saving measures by county department heads, an auditor told the Board of Commissioners Monday night.
In the spring of 2020, commissioners budgeted $173 million in expenses for the fiscal year that began on July 1 of that year. When the fiscal year ended, it had spent $152 million, leaving $21.5 million in the county treasury and adding to the county’s already hefty fund balance.
The extra cash on hand of $17 million is more than double the number at the end of the 2019-20 budget year, $7.4 million, which was itself a record high. The 2020-21 budget year also marked the seventh straight year the county has budgeted money from the rainy day fund in order to balance the budget only to reach the end of the fiscal year and find that the cushion was unneeded.
“Kudos to everyone — staff and auditor,” Chairman Bill Lapsley said. “It’s just phenomenal to me but also phenomenal is the results of this past fiscal year. The budgeting during the pandemic was just difficult. We really didn’t know what to expect. We made our best guess and it turned out we made the right guesses.”
Lapsley noted that one contributor to the large windfall, salary lapse because of job vacancies, comes at a cost.
“That takes a toll on the staff and our ability to provide service,” he said. “On the plus side that saves money.”