Questions arise with the county council regarding missing funding

A few Pulaski County departments are questioning where funding that was budgeted last year has disappeared to. 
Pulaski County Council members were left defending their decisions of cutting funds and questioning where some funding was allocated during a meeting Monday evening. 
One of the first departments to approach the council was the aviation board. Jim Daniels, who was representing the aviation board, questioned why the grant match that was budgeted for this year is not there. The amount was $7,500. The grant match is only 5 percent of the total budget. Daniels said the grant will fund a new parking lot with some drainage work and more security at the airport.  
Auditor Laura Wheeler said the amount was cut because of the amount the state was requiring the county to cut. “The statement was that they could come and ask for an additional when they need it,” she said. 
Council president Jay Sullivan said an additional appropriation will need to be made to meet the grant match. A motion was approved to advertise the additional appropriation. 
The second question or concern was made by maintenance director Jeff Johnston questioned balances regarding the appropriations made by the maintenance department. He used the example that he made a request in January for an additional appropriation of $167,000 for the building and structure fund. It was approved to be advertised and “as far as I know the money was never put into my account. I’m now $46,000 overdrawn in that line item.” 
Wheeler said the money is in the fund. Johnston questioned as of when because when he checked it Monday morning it was not in that line item. 
“Then you are looking in the wrong fund because it was approved under the cumulative building,” Wheeler said. “You are in the hole but you are in the wrong fund and those bills needed to come out of the correct fund.” 
She suggested that Johnston come talk to her about the issue. 
Wheeler said funding was also approved for the elevator by the council but it was not stated where that funding will come from. A motion was approved to advertise an additional appropriation of $100,000 from the CEDIT (county economic development income tax) line item. It will have to be moved into a commissioners’ line item. 
 

See the full story in the Pulaski County Journal, available in print and e-edition.

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