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John Thompson

Elizabethton Bureau Chief
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Carter budget group puts off floor work decision, OKs software purchase

August 9th, 2011 3:27 pm by John Thompson

ELIZABETHTON — During its first meeting since the new budget was passed July 29, the Carter County Budget Committee agreed to recommend several amendments to the new budget and take a small amount from the fund balance, but put off a decision to provide funding for repairs to the floors at the Carter County Health Department.
Health Department Director Caroline Hurt said the floors there have a problem with water seeping to the surface. She said the water mixes with glue used on the previous floor covering and makes the floors look dirty even when they have just been cleaned.
Hurt said the Budget Committee had withheld a decision on floor repairs until after the budget was passed. After that, Hurt said she was back with a request that was a few thousand dollars less than originally estimated.
She said the water problem ruled out every type of floor surface except polished concrete. She said the cost to the county would be $41,616.
The committee voted to research the budget to see where the money could be found. Bill Armstrong made the motion and Harry Sisk seconded it.
The committee did decide to take $6,000 out of the fund balance for software and a single-user license for a program that searches for federal, state and foundation grants. The county would be obligated to use the program for only one year and see how useful it is in finding grants for the county.
Finance Director Ingrid Deloach reminded the committee that it has been just over a week since the new budget was passed and already the committee is approving taking money out of the fund balance. She warned committee members that if the withdrawals continue the county will fall into a financial crisis.
The committee approved two budget amendments that required no new money. One was to take $8,625 from capital outlay reserves and using it to scan mylar books in the register of deeds office.
The second amendment moved $601,495 in Carter County Schools capital reserves and using it to renovate bathrooms at Little Milligan, Happy Valley, Hunter and Keenburg elementary schools.
The committee also heard an appeal on the awarding of the bid on the yearly food contract for the jail, but decided to go with the apparent low bidder, Performance Food Group.

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