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Franklin County owed $1 million in reimbursements

  • The Franklin County Board learned Monday the county has about $393,000 in the bank, which will make it difficult to make the $400,000 payroll due later this month. Shown is board member Jack Warren signs his name to one of the claims turned in for repayment.

    The Franklin County Board learned Monday the county has about $393,000 in the bank, which will make it difficult to make the $400,000 payroll due later this month. Shown is board member Jack Warren signs his name to one of the claims turned in for repayment.
    Photo by Rick Hayes

 
BY RICK HAYES
Contributing Writer
Posted on 4/6/2017, 5:00 AM

Franklin County is owed more than $1 million in reimbursement payments from two agencies dating back as far as July 1, 2016.

The lack of payments from Second Judicial Circuit Court probation and the juvenile detention program is making it difficult for the county to operate on a month-to-month basis, it was reported during the Franklin County Board's Finance Committee meeting Monday.

Interim Treasurer Pam Smith said the county has about $393,000 in the bank after receiving a $124,000 income tax check from the state and $143,000 in receipts from the circuit clerk's office. However, with claims of $217,000 to be paid in a couple of weeks, it will be difficult to meet the next payroll of about $400,000, Smith said.

"That's better than last month when we were short $100,000," Smith told the Board. "We're close this time. Hopefully, the state will send some more."

Chairman Randall Crocker said he has spoken with Chief Judge Tom Tedeschi about the lack of payments from probation, reporting, "He's going to work on that."

Franklin County is the lead county for probation in the Second Judicial Circuit, essentially paying the salaries and benefits of employees. It was reported that probation is $644,825 behind in reimbursement payments to the county.

"Probation is not getting paid so (the money) is not trickling down," Crocker said.

The detention numbers are not much better. Smith reported the county is owed $489,000 in reimbursement payments. It was also reported that detention census numbers are on the decline.

Sheriff Don Jones requested the board pay one-half the costs to replace a lock in the jail room. Jones said the cost for replacement is $4,800. He said the Jail Commission, despite being strapped for cash, has agreed to pay the remaining half.

"You know, we call it the new jail, but it is 27 years old. It's beginning to show some wear and tear," Jones said.

During another committee meeting, there was much discussion about hiring someone for janitorial services at the Campbell Building. The board wrestled with making the position part- or-full time and whether to consolidate it with duties at other facilities. Crocker supports a full-time position, starting around noon each day. Other board members felt that since the building is new it will require less maintenance. No definitive conclusion was reached. It was reported the Campbell Building should be ready to occupy by April 19. The board also discussed moving its monthly meetings to that facility.

Crocker said the board will not have a special meeting prior to the regular meeting April 18. A new treasurer will be appointed at that 6 p.m. meeting. Crocker previously reported that four external candidates have been interviewed for the position left empty by the recent resignation of John Gulley.