Treasurer airs revenue concerns

The Patrick County Treasurer said Wednesday she is concerned about having enough revenue to make payroll each month with expenses at the current level.

Sandra Stone said she also wanted to make officials aware an increase in pay would stretch the county’s already lean budget.

“That’s the problem. The county is not in any shape to give anybody anything,” Stone said during a liaison committee meeting that included members of the Patrick County Supervisors, Patrick County School Board and others. The committees met to hammer out the details of the local contribution to the school division. (See related story.)

As the discussion turned to a step pay hike for teachers and other school division personnel, estimated to cost $252,904, Stone explained that her salary is paid by the state.

However, employees in her office were notified they would not receive a pay hike in the upcoming fiscal year. Other county employees also will not receive a salary increase during Fiscal 2018-19, she said.

“I’m all for teachers getting a raise, don’t get me wrong, but my employees work just as hard,” and are just as deserving of a raise as are school personnel.

“I’m going to fight for my employees,” Stone said, adding her employees work hard to collect the revenues the county does receive.

She said she hopes school officials realize that to give the proposed step pay raise, they will be taking “from the county to give this raise. It’s almost taking from one to give to the other.”

“I know they’re all underpaid. I get it,” Stone said. However, “I’m not sure where the revenue for a raise is coming from. With all this debt the county has taken on, I’m concerned about just making payroll.”

Supervisors recently voted to give Stone the authority to take monies from the county’s Contingency Fund as needed to meet obligations, with plans to replace those funds as revenues allow.

In earlier budget discussions, Stone estimated revenues at $8,302,620 as of February 28; expenses totaled $8,678,748, and included $3,124,818 to the school division; $1,915,000 for county bills; $2,912,000 for county payroll, as well as expenses for obligations in the Department of Social Services and others.

Stone said she anticipates by the June 30 end of the current fiscal year, the county will be $376,127 short of the monies needed to meet its obligations.

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