County commissioners discuss funds

The Haakon County Board of Commissioners met in a special meeting to see if there would be enough operating funds to close out the year.

At the December 15 meeting, Haakon County Auditor Patricia Freeman presented the board with copies of account information. She noted that Federal Emergency Management Agency funds needed to be transferred from their existing holding account to the road and bridge main account. Freeman noted that Val Williams had compiled all needed documentation regarding the highway department's work on FEMA projects so that now the funds could be transferred. A total of $289,595.03 needed to be transferred from the FEMA account to the road and bridge account. Freeman noted this will nearly deplete the FEMA funds, leaving just under $25,000 in the account.

Commissioner Neal (Obie) Brunskill questioned Freeman's accounting entries and stated he believed the money wasn't there.

On a roll call vote to transfer the funds Commissioners Rita O'Connell, Gary Snook Don Eymer and Chairman Nick Konst voted in favor of the transfer. Brunskill voted against the measuring, stating he wanted clarification before approving the transfer.

In regards to the remaining accounts Freeman stated the majority of them would be in the red for the end of the year. She noted general fund was going to be close, with an approximate $50,000 after finishing out the 2010 books. "You knew you were going to overspend this year because of the courthouse building fund," said Freeman.

Haakon County Treasurer Patti Rhodes informed the board that money would be very tight until the tax payments came in during April. She said some early tax money will come in during January. "We're going to be running really tight," said Snook.

O'Connell said, "We talked about this. We knew with the courthouse plumbing we were going to be in trouble." Konst added, "I think last year, what really hurt us was we started the year in the negative in some accounts.

Konst said the commission is going to have to look at the accounting balances each month and approve purchases before they take place, especially in the first few months of 2011 as the county will have limited funds to draw on. Eymer added, "Every month we will have to know where we are at."

The board will meet Tuesday, December 28, to close out the 2010 year.