County to freeze spendingPublished 12:06am Tuesday, June 12, 2012
NATCHEZ — The Adams County Board of Supervisors agreed Monday to implement a non-necessity spending freeze for all county departments effective July 1.
But the board members were quick to emphasize that it wasn’t because the county is operating in a hole.
Instead, President Darryl Grennell said it was to ensure no invoices are outstanding when it comes time to audit the books or for the board to start the budgeting process.
“When they go and buy items that have to go into inventory, it creates an inventory nightmare that affects the budgeting process,” Grennell said.
The decision was made at a meeting with County Administrator Joe Murray to begin pre-planning for the yearly budgeting process, which will begin in August.
The supervisors have historically instituted a spending freeze on all non-necessity spending in July, Murray said.
“This is just something to keep (department heads) from cleaning their budgets out,” Grennell said. “We are just trying to maintain some kind of cash balance at the end of the year.”
Supervisor David Carter echoed Grennell’s words, saying, “We don’t want people to think we’re in some kind of a bind, we are just trying to maintain some kind of fiscal responsibility.”
If a department needed new equipment and the funding was already in place for that equipment — for example, new computers — it should have already been purchased, Grennell said.
In addition to discussing the spending freeze, Murray told the supervisors that county department expenditures are at better-than-expected levels.
“There’s nothing in (the expenditures report) that says anybody is way further out than it should be, and in fact, everybody is below,” Murray said.
Tax Assessor Reynolds Atkins is in the process of collecting the assessment figures for the year, and Murray said Atkins believes the county’s assessed value will increase.
While the county will have to take on an $80,000 increase in retirement costs, Murray said the county will be retiring some of its debt service and will see an increase in funds from that.