County seeks to correct funding error

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 30, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; The annual juggling of maintenance funds and a clerical error led to the county’s failure to pay Copiah-Lincoln Community College $86,000 it was owed, Chancery Clerk Tommy O’Beirne said.

O’Beirne notified the Adams County Board of Supervisors of the error in its Monday meeting.

Each month, the county pays an average of $35,000 to a maintenance fund for Co-Lin. Those funds come from a property tax millage set aside for that purpose.

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Tax collections in October, November and December are usually lower than average, forcing the Chancery Clerk’s Office to pay Co-Lin what it collects during those months. That office pays Co-Lin the difference in January, when revenues are better, O’Beirne said.

But due to a clerical error, the difference for October through December 2001 was not paid to Co-Lin in January 2002 &045; to the tune of $86,000.

Personnel of the Chancery Clerk’s Office were not aware of the error until Co-Lin officials called recently to notify them of the missing amount.

Even though there is the cash balance in the fund &045; $101,000 for last year &045; that is carried over to the next year and has been included in the college’s current budget.

O’Beirne is now looking to see what funds can be used to make up that amount to Co-Lin.

&uot;We receive some additional monies from different sources,&uot; including land sale taxes, O’Beirne said, that could be used to make up the $86,000 owed to Co-Lin.

The amount does not make up much of Co-Lin’s $24 million total budget or the $3.5 million to $4 million budget of its Natchez campus, Dr. Ronnie Nettles, dean of the Natchez campus.

&uot;We’re really into a new budget year now,&uot; Nettles said. While the county and Co-Lin have a good working relationship, he said, &uot;we’re eager to see this resolved.&uot;