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Suwannee County finances in ‘good health’

LIVE OAK — Suwannee County received a clean bill of financial health Tuesday.

At Tuesday night’s Board of County Commissioners meeting, auditor Richard Powell told the board that its financial standing was in “good health.”

“Here, that has kind of fluctuated,” said Powell, with Powell and Jones CPA. “It was very healthy, it reduced and you have it back up to good health.”

Powell told the board that it had $12,764,310 in its general fund balance at the end of the last fiscal year. That is equal to approximately six and a half months of operating expenses.

According to Powell, the general fund’s balance increased by $706,465. That was an increase of 3.39 percent of the county’s revenues the past year. That follows an increase of about 7.5 percent the previous year.

Powell noted that under Florida statutes, a county is only allowed to budget 95 percent of its revenues.

“That is commendable,” he said, pointing out that the 5 percent rule is used to help county’s build up those reserves. “You’ve had two good years for sure where you’ve increased reserves.”

According to Powell, the county’s capital outlay had enough improvements through paving and grant funding to counter the depreciation elsewhere. He said usually the depreciation percentage increases year after year.

Powell also told the board that there were no findings during the auditing process for the board, nor any of the constitutional officers.

“That is very commendable,” he said.

Chairman Ricky Gamble said: “The short version is, we had a good year, right?”

Powell agreed.

“Financially, I would say you had a successful year,” Powell added. “You’re up to a good level now.”

Budget workshops

Later in Tuesday’s meeting, the commissioners agreed to set a pair of budget workshops for the upcoming fiscal year for Aug. 13-14 at the Judicial Annex. The workshops will begin at 9 a.m. each day.

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