by Lisa Tome
Although he may or may not like the budget figures for the past decade, County Council President Robert Hodge made it clear that he didn't like the way it was presented.
Hodge on March 3 told Director of Finance Winston Robinson that the "print is small and blurry" for the meeting room onscreen presentation. Council members were provided with a paper copy. Robinson told Hodge that he would work with the Information Technology department to improve the appearance of the presentation in the future.
Some budget figures were reviewed. Robinson stated that the county landfill runs at a $1.8 million budget deficit. "Since 2008 the landfill has not generated enough income to cover its liabilities," he said. That's why, each budget cycle, an advance has to be put in the budget. The landfill has a 40-100 year lifespan. Money has to be put aside annually and invested for closing costs for when the life of it expires. "You may as well put money in a mattress," said Councilman Alan McCarthy. McCarthy was told that the state mandates how that money can be invested. So far, $8.1 million has been put aside for the landfill closure.
Councilman Dan Schneckenburger asked if there is a way for the county to get out of and privatize the landfill. "That hasn't been looked at in a long time. If the opportunity existed, we would look at it," said Robinson.
After reviewing the fund balances, advances for the landfill and motor vehicle funds, and more, Hodge said he wants to know if the county is currently on budget. Robinson said that is calculated quarterly and he did not have the answer.