Members of the Newton County Board of Commissioners (BOC) were advised of a potential budget shortfall at Tuesday’s meeting after the sale of recycling/convenience center hang tags did not meet expectations.
“Convenience center decals are still selling,” County Finance Director Nicole Cross said. “We are currently at 9,495 decals sold, which amounts to about $473,000.”
“I think it’s excellent that we’ve collected $473,000 in terms of our decals,” Commissioner Nancy Schulz said. “But that line item was supposed to be was supposed to be a million, was it not?
“Do we anticipate another $525,000 between now and the end of the year? If not, what are we going to do about that?”
County Manager Lloyd Kerr told commissioners that while he anticipated selling a few hundred more hang tags, he did not think that the county would get near the $1 million mark.
“I believe that we’ve sold close to as many as we’re going to sell,” Kerr said. “ We did budget a $1 million in anticipation of selling a $1 million worth of those tags. We’re doing everything that we can right now to make up some of that (shortfall) by looking for alternative sources of revenue for the landfill, particularly in recyclables.”
“But,” Kerr said, “We will need to utilize any subsidy that we’re able to obtain from the general fund in order to make up for that difference.”
Kerr told the commissioners the recycling/convenience centers had been budgeted to close as part of the budget, and that the decision in February to keep them open until the end of June will also have a negative impact on the shortfall.
Kerr also told the commissioners the landfill was seeing an increase in revenue in terms of tonnage and tipping fees from an increase in households using curbside trash service. Kerr said as the use of curbside service increases, the tonnage coming out of the recycle/convenience centers goes down, helping with the shortfall.
Cross told commissioners that a budget amendment was being worked on to deal with the shortfall. She also said that it would not be necessary to go back to the public for any additional funding.
“The objective would be to present a budget amendment that is balanced, that provides how we will fund,” Cross said.
The BOC plans to take up the issue in March.