Greene County funds deficit likely

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 14, 2005

EUTAW-The problems stemming from missing county funds have hit home hard this month on the Greene County payroll. The month of June has three pay periods for county employees, which could cause serious problems.

Altheria Wilder, the county’s Chief Financial Officer, said as they stand they would not have enough funds to cover all three pay periods.

“In reviewing the financial records based upon the income that comes in per month we are not going to be able to have enough funds to cover those three pay periods,” Wilder said. “We will be able to do two. I am requesting some ideas where we can get those funds to cover this month.”

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The county will continue to seek answers to the problem. One recommendation was to use the funds generated from selling county timber, however, the funds would not be in place in time.

The commission also discussed the status of their water line project. Bob Corwin, of Public Systems Inc., was on hand to discuss a grant for the water system that could connect private residences to the new water lines, which will be put into place to connect the county’s water system. The original grant to put the new water lines in place called only for the lines to be put down. They did not allocate funds to connect houses to the lines. Corwin said he believed he could secure a grant that would give the needed funding to do so.

“It has been mentioned to me that the rural water grant that the authority got to run lines and connect systems throughout the county does not connect houses to the line,” Corwin said. “I wanted to approach you to consider a special application to connect those houses.”

Corwin said he wanted to be sure the county was aware of how the project would work and the options available.

“It will not connect the households because they are on private property, but the special grant can do that,” Corwin said. “There is a special grant out there that we can apply for that may give the money to the people to connect to the system. The grant will connect them to the system. Otherwise, the people would have to pay the water authority.”

Getting the grant could be a help and a hindrance to the county. For the period of time the county was working under the $350,000 ADECCA grant they would be ineligible to gain funds for other projects. Commission Chairman Chip Beeker said he would like to see funding to help connect the homes, but was also concerned the county may not be able to secure funding for bigger projects with a more immediate need.

“I wonder about the time frame,” Beeker said. “If the water were coming into the county and it took several years would we be entitled under community services not to seek another grant for that period of time?”

The answer was yes prompting the commission to take a closer look. Beeker said the commission would have to do more research on the topic to make an informed decision.

“The big question I think for this body is do we want to tie our ADECCA grants up for this period of time,” Beeker asked. “I don’t know that.”

The deadline to apply for the grant is Aug. 15. The commissioners said they did not want to rush a decision and planned to make calls to Montgomery to see what their best option would be. The commission will hold a special meeting in two weeks to make a final decision.