- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 30, 2015

NEW ALBANY, Ind. (AP) - A southern Indiana county’s budget shortfall forecast to top $1.1 million earlier this month is only about a third as large at $391,000, the county auditor says.

The Floyd County Sheriff’s Department spent about $300,000 less than budgeted for the year, and when that amount was added to unanticipated revenues the county received, that left the deficit about $725,000 less than originally estimated, Auditor Scott Clark told the County Council on Tuesday.

“At the time I forecast this, I wasn’t sure if the sheriff would spend that money or not,” Clark said. “That helped to knock a large piece out.”

Clark announced at a Dec. 15 council meeting that the county had a shortfall of more than $1.1 million in its general fund. In the county’s state-approved 2015 budget, the general fund was budgeted at $10.7 million.

Over half of the remaining debt would be wiped out once the city of New Albany pays $174,000 it owes for the 2015 municipal elections, The (Louisville, Kentucky) Courier-Journal reported (https://cjky.it/1MHgl1f ).

The council approved transfers from three county accounts to move the general fund and two smaller deficits into the black for 2015. If New Albany pays its debt by the end of the year as required by law, Floyd County will end the year with a surplus in the general fund, Clark said.

The county’s struggle with the size of the deficit has taught the council to “verify all the data we’re given,” Council President Matt Oakley said.

“The council made cuts in April, and those cuts paid off. By the end of the year we had a balanced budget.” Oakley said. “I’m pleased we ended with a surplus and employees got 2 percent raises this year.”

Last year, budget problems led the county across the Ohio River from Louisville to slash budgets by 25 percent for all departments receiving general fund money. The budget problems were made worse by more than $2.6 million in costs for two high-profile murder trials, including that of one-time Indiana State Trooper David Camm, who was acquitted in October 2013 of killing his wife and two children in 2000.


Information from: The Courier-Journal, https://www.courier-journal.com

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