Chairman Creager took about an hour to review the state of the county’s finances in the council meeting on Tuesday night. The information he shared was intended to prepare the council for the presentation by the independent auditor scheduled for the next council meeting. It also provided background for the mid year review of the budget where the Council makes adjustments to account for unexpected expenditures and to take into account grants awarded to the county.
Creager also seemed determined to dispel some misinformation he indicated was being shared as “dirty politics.” Creager reviewed the details so that the council members, and the public, would be armed with the facts.
Chairman Creager and Member Hansen have each received calls relating primarily to the county’s expenditures on the $1.5 million road bond. The citizens had been incorrectly informed that the county had expended a large portion of the money without any roads being paved or repaired.
Creager worked to set the record straight. He reported that approximately $400,000 of the road bond had been transferred to the County’s road maintenance account. This money was to cover costs of construction that occurred on the Fairgrounds Parkway road and the Lost Creek Road. Some of the expenses for these projects were carried into this year.
There is also $250,000 from the road bond in an escrow account with the state of Utah for use on the bridge over the Weber River in Stoddard. This money has not been spent, but is the county’s portion of the costs where the state is also contributing funds.
The contract for road improvements in the county was recently awarded and the contractor is about to begin significant road repair projects over the next several months. The county staff reported that the bids that had been received were at even more favorable prices than had been expected because of the current economic climate. They believe the county will be able to make even more repairs to roads than expected because of these favorable costs.
Creager also reiterated that the county has on hand in its accounts the equivalent of one year of property taxes. He expressed that while the current expenditures reflect some overruns, it is largely because the county has received grant money that will not be reflected in the budget until after the mid year adjustments are made. Creager feels that the county is very healthy fiscally. He also expressed a desire that the County’s elected personnel and candidates running for office will take time to know the facts and communicate them accurately.