By RICK HAYES
---- — MT. VERNON — For the first time in at least three months, the county is showing black numbers in its budget.
Treasurer Dan Knox reported at Thursday’s Fiscal Committee meeting his office is not holding any checks and the county is current on monthly claims and demands.
Chairman Robert White added the county is at 58 percent of income, which is 8 percent above where the county should be for this time of year and 56.7 percent in expenditures, a level compatible with the 50 percent mark of where the county should be after the first seven months of the fiscal year.
“This does not make us Superman, but there is room to move ahead,” Knox cautioned. “It’s a good place to be in. Maybe we can gain a little traction and move forward. It’s nice to be able to project we’ll be in the black.”
Knox reported following the next payroll on July 8, the county will have $132,000 available. He added within the first two weeks of July the county will also receive a $306,000 state income tax payment, which will give the county approximately $97,000 of revenue over claims.
Knox said the County Board is beginning to see the fruits of their labor when staff reductions were made earlier in the year due to the loss of Immigrations, Customs and Enforcement prisoners from the jail.
White added, “Those actions were needed. It allowed us to clear the decks that the loss of ICE income created.”
White hinted with the positive direction the county is taking financially, there is a possibility that a minimum of three deputies laid off after the latest rounds of layoffs were made by the county may be recalled.
“I think we can accurately predict our budget numbers moving forward,” White said.
The Committee recommended the 2012-13 budget be closed; and approved Fiscal Year 2013-2014 forms be distributed to officeholders.
The Committee also approved a resolution “providing for reimbursement for the cost of medical services at the Department of Healthcare and Family Services rates for medical assistance.”
IN OTHER BUSINESS:n At the request of Resident Judge Jo Beth Weber, the Committee will recommend to the full board a salary increase of $3,750 annually for assistant public defender Todd Ringel. State’s Attorney Doug Hoffman said Ringel had been putting in a lot of overtime and has done an “excellent job in helping us resolve cases and doing a good job for his clients.”
n Took no action on a written request from Sheriff Roger Mulch to reinstate the pay for the Merit Board. The County Board rejected payment to board members at an earlier meeting since they could not provide documented proof of meeting minutes.
n During the Land, Tax and Appointments Committee meeting, Don R. Davis was appointed to the Board of Review, replacing Jerry McCracken; and Timothy Wehrheim was re-appointed to the Woodlawn Fire District.