Sumter County Council Reviews Financial Report and Discusses ARPA Funds

Ahead of the regular Sumter County Council meeting on Tuesday, a special meeting was held to discuss the county’s financial report and the American Rescue Plan Act.

Sumter County Finance Director Uvette Rogers provided council with a quarterly update on the use of general county funds from its current fiscal year budget.

Sumter County’s Fiscal Year 2022 budget was approved in June, ready to begin July 1. Rogers presented the board with a starting general fund amount of $ 56,743,721 in income with expenses of $ 57,466,022, showing a change of $ 722,301 in the fund balance.

For three months, from July 1 to September 30, the county reported $ 4.7 million in revenue, equivalent to about 8% of general funds, and $ 13.2 million in expenses, or about 23% of funds, used on budget. until there.

According to Rogers, the amount of funds used by category varied and will continue to vary throughout the year. For example, taxes, which have so far only used 5% of their budget, will experience activity when collecting taxes in January 2022.

City Councilor Charles Edens asked why leisure spending was 34%, which he thought was high.

Sumter County Administrator Gary Mixon said the percentage came from summer sports activities, which was normal. He said recreation will decrease in the winter and resume in the spring.

Edens also asked if the transportation spending was 30%, and Rogers said it was the Sumter County Airport activities that were happening at the start of the fiscal year.

“We’re following pretty much where we expect to be,” Mixon said.

The Board also received an overview and update on ARPA funds during the special meeting.

Sumter County received $ 10 million in ARPA funds in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency to offset lost earnings, bolster economic recovery and provide a bonus to essential workers.

Mixon reviewed ongoing plans approved by the council for the first phase of the county’s many incremental allocations, which included funding for new ambulances and electric stretchers for Sumter County EMS, Sheriff’s Bonus, EMS salary adjustments, lost income replacement, HVAC art gallery replacement, full sheriff- body scan system, fire protection gear, coroner’s cooler and radios, library mobile correspondence, museum COVID-19 budget request, COVID-19 budget request gallery, Crystal Lakes shelter, three fire station HVAC replacements, and community mini-grants, all equal $ 5,755,138.

Just under $ 4.5 million remains uncommitted, but Mixon’s proposed council approves county staff’s phase two project request to fund the mobile home repair program for mobile homes 20 years and older , an EMS ambulance contract, a bonus for county employees and repairs to Heise County Building, which houses the State Department of Health and Environmental Control. Phase two will be equivalent to $ 4,350,000.

The Council unanimously approved the projects for phase two.

“This money has been both a blessing and a curse,” Mixon told the council. “It’s definitely a blessing to have it, but you’ve got all the work to do and trying to compare all of this information and weigh all the conversations and discussions.”

Mixon also shared with the board a few future projects to consider with the next $ 10 million in ARPA funds expected to arrive in May 2022.

These projects included broadband expansion; renovations of community centers in Shiloh, Rafting Creek and Delaine / School centers; no more ambulances and electric stretchers; water service upgrades; expansion of the landfill; paving of the recycling center; county building renovations at the Sumter County Civic Center, Patriot Hall, and Judicial Center; and other possible ideas from council members, including potential road renovations.

An executive meeting was held at the start of the meeting for information purposes. No action was taken.

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