I spoke by phone with Carroll County Commissioner David Babson last evening about a number of things, but mostly about some background information on the contingency fund budget line, which was zero funded for the 2016 budget. This resurfaced a few weeks ago when some emergency repairs were required.
Per Commissioner Babson, the emergency repairs were for repair of a sewer pump, an AC pump in the administration building and a faulty generator. On the horizon is a generator transfer switch which is quite old ( as is the generator) and while it is currently operable, it may need replacement at any time. "Umberger ( Delegation Chair) said not once, not twice, but multiple times, that we would not need a contingency fund" said Babson as the Delegation Executive Committee zero funded the contingency budget line item. It is his understanding that the Delegation Executive Committee believes that there is sufficient money in other line items to cover unanticipated expenses. Time will tell how accurate that assumption will be. Since no significant expenditure can be made by the Commissioners without the Delegation Executive Committee approval, keeping a small rainy day fund is sensible. If the money is not spent, it can be carried over to the next year. If the department and other areas of the operating budget are as tight as the Delegation leadership has told us, then there should not be many areas where significant under expended line items can be found.
Commissioner Babson spoke of the funding for the County Farm being stretched as far as it can and it is hoped that they can make it a bit further into the summer than earlier anticipated as they are ahead of revenue projections. Babson took exception to Delegation member Glenn Cordelli's claims that the farm lost $449,000 over the past four years. He said that Cordelli used unaudited numbers and had claimed that the audited data was not available. Babson said that was not true and that the audited numbers were available in the finance office. Those numbers he said show a deficit of about $104,000, much less than claimed by Cordelli.
Commissioner Babson will be the sole current Commissioner remaining come January 2017, as Commissioners Sorensen and Ahlgren are not running for re-election. The Commissioners typically meet on Wednesday mornings at 8:30 at the County complex in Ossipee.