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The Local Agenda: Audit for fiscal 2012 shows Hall making its budget
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The Hall County Board of Commissioners heard an audit presentation on its fiscal year 2012 budget at its meeting last week.

The summary was presented by Beth Grimes of Bates, Carter & Co. LLP. The audit was on the financial statements and included all departments, funds and elected officials.

Revenues remained fairly stable, compared with 2011, and were $3.3 million over the final budget, presentation handouts stated. Taxes were $2.9 million over budget, with local option sales tax $1.5 million and property taxes $1.2 over budget due to conservative budgeting.

Spending decreased more than 6 percent compared with 2011 and overall spending was $3.4 million below final budget. This was attributed to continued mandatory furloughs and cost-cutting measures instituted across all departments. Hall County made a net income of $5.5 million, the presentation handout said.

Hall County collected $27 million in special purpose local option sales tax and spent $23.8 million in 2012, the presentation said. About $5.2 million was paid to cities and $11.9 million was spent on county projects, including the Cool Springs park project, North Hall Community Center, North Hall Technology Center and road projects. The county spent $4.1 million on debt service and $2.6 million on enterprise fund projects including the Mulberry Creek debt service and Glades Reservoir. Capital spending mostly went to North Hall Park, the Liberty Mutual Building that is now the county’s headquarters, and debt service payments to SPLOST VI.

The audit presentation also addressed the county’s $14.4 million in long-term debt, including business park bonds, 2009 bonds, 2010 certificates of participation and capital leases. For the sewer utility fund, the county took in operating income of $440,000, but that excludes depreciation of $594,000. The sewer fund has long-term debt of $47.1 million. Debt includes $14.1 million in revenue bonds of the Spout Springs Treatment Facility and Georgia

Environmental Finance Authority loans for the Calvary Church project and phase I and II of the Mulberry Creek project. In the county’s solid waste activities, it had an operating loss of $91,000, which excluded depreciation of costs of $927,000. The water utility fund had no operating activity and debt from the Glades Reservoir project of $6.6 million.

The last item the audit presentation discussed was Other Post Employment Benefits. The net obligation is $52 million, with an annual required contribution of $5.7 million and $4.1 million in actual claims paid.

Gainesville City Council members to hear rezoning request

The Gainesville City Council will hear from Community Development Director Rusty Ligon at its work session on Thursday. The agenda said Ligon will discuss a rezoning request from resident Michael Slate, who is asking to turn his home into an office. It’s expected to be on the agenda for the City Council’s Feb. 5 meeting. The work session will also discuss the alcoholic beverage license application of Hilton Garden Inn on Browns Bridge Road and the pawnshop permit license applications of A-1 Fast Cash on Jesse Jewell Parkway and Double Deuce Pawn and Gun LLC on Shallowford Road.

Sarah Mueller covers government issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with her: