County Manager Blaine Williams has presented the board with projected revenue and expenditures for the next four years that show an increasing dependence on the fund balance.
The $12.7 million rainy day fund is expected to be nearly halved by the end of 2016. And it will dip below 30 percent of the county’s annual expenses this month.
“The plan for 2013 will bring the fund balance to 27 percent of expenses, which is below our target,” Finance Director Gary Burkhalter told Commissioners.
Along with those figures, Williams and Assistant County Manager Noah Simon have offered service delivery options for various departments.
The draft documents look at what will happen under three scenarios — maintaining the current funding level, decreasing it, or adding more money to the budget.
One example: Keeping the county police patrol division at 50 full-time sworn officers would maintain an average response time of 2:12 minutes and cost $2,669,967. Eliminating two officers would increase the response time to 3:08 minutes and drop the cost to $2,585,443. Adding two officers would cut the average response time to 1:57 minutes and cost $2,767,449.
Williams, who is leaving for a job with Athens-Clarke County on Dec. 31, has asked the board to provide direction for the next step in crafting the new budget.
“I’d like to put the second draft out by Christmas, so you can consider it over the holidays,” he said.
Burkhalter will serve as interim county manager until Williams is replaced. The budget will continue to be tweaked in January until the public hearing and adoption at the second meeting of the month.