Tobar says county cash balance is up nearly a million dollars

Grady County officials continue to work to catch-up on the reconciliation of bank statements that have accumulated since February of this year.
Commission Chairman T.D. David quizzed County Administrator Carlos Tobar and Accounting Manager Connie Blackman about the status of accounting work Tuesday morning.
Much progress has been made by the county staff in closing some of the 21 bank accounts the county had when Ms. Blackman assumed the accounting manager position in February. She has also reconciled the majority of the accounts, many of which had little or no activity in them.
However, the general fund account which has the most monthly activity remains unreconciled dating back to February.
According to Ms. Blackman she has six accounts remaining to be reconciled.
“I’ve been saving the worst to last,” the accounting manager told county commissioners Tuesday morning.
County Administrator Tobar told members of the county commission and the Grady County Lake Authority last week at a retreat that the county has nearly $1 million more in the bank as of Sept. 30 as it did the year prior.
Tobar was questioned as to the accuracy of those numbers by commissioners and lake authority members since all of the bank statements for the four general fund bank accounts had not been reconciled.
On Tuesday, Tobar refined that total and he said as of Sept. 30 there is $3,606,215.14 in the general fund accounts compared to $2,685,618.35 on Sept. 30 2013.
“I did a quick and dirty calculation where I assume that everything written before Sept. 15 has cleared and I have subtracted out what was written after Sept. 15 that has not cleared the bank. Even if there is another $20,000 in outstanding checks we are still well over $900,000 more in the bank than at this time a year ago,” Tobar said.
Although all of the accounts have not been reconciled Tobar said he is confident in those numbers.
“One of the general fund accounts alone had a balance of $2,591,920 as of Sept. 30 and it has been reconciled,” Tobar said.
The $3.6 million general fund balance does not include restricted accounts, Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax accounts or the Tired Creek fund.
As of Oct. 31, the county also has $2,249,002 in certificates of deposit and there is $1,745,584.00 remaining in the Tired Creek account as of Sept. 30.
Ms. Blackman will now focus on reconciling the general fund account that has the most activity each month, but Tobar said that work will be interrupted by a week of vacation the accounting manager will be taking next week.
“I can’t imagine we are more than a week from being done. It’s pretty simple. I see the workload and I see what is being done everyday and how close we are. I think we will get it done very quickly,” Tobar said.
The county administrator said it was likely all of the reconcilations would be up to date by the next commission meeting on Nov. 18.
“The part to celebrate is that we are doing well financially. We have nearly a million dollars more in the bank this year than we had last year. We had 176 bank statements to reconcile and with everything else we’ve had to do it’s taken us some time to get caught up,” Tobar said.
Previously the board of commissioners approved up to $3,200 to pay for additional accounting help to get the county’s books up to date and in order, but Tobar has not taken advantage of that appropriation.
“I don’t see the need to bring in outside accounting help. We have an intern who is helping us out (Lynsey Johnson). She is inputting purchase orders and our clerk (Donna Johnson) is handling deposits,” Tobar said.
County commissioners are meeting again Thursday with the members of the Grady County Lake Authority to discuss financing the construction of lake amenities at the 960-acre Tired Creek Lake as the dam nears completion and the lake will soon begin to fill.
In other business Tuesday, commissioners:
Ratified a previous verbal approval to accept two change orders related to the construction of the Tired Creek dam. Change order #10 results in an additional expense to the county of $10,880 for additional rock filter dams required. Once the project is complete the county can harvest the rock to use for other purposes. Change order #11 is a cost to the county of $7,150 for anchors to secure the boom that protects the dam and spillway from floating debris.
Ratified the purchase of a new engine for the 2002 Dodge truck assigned to the animal control department. The low bid was $2,850 from Hudson Ford of Thomasville, according to Tobar.
Authorized the hiring of grant writer Bob Roberson at a cost of $3,000 to submit a pre application on Grady County’s behalf for a Georgia One Equity Grant of up to $500,000. Tobar recommended applying for the grant to aide with the cost of infrastructure at Tired Creek Lake. If the grant is awarded Roberson will be paid a fee of $7,000 to administer the grant. The county administrator told commissioners Tuesday morning that he would have an answer on the grant application by December, but later in the day he reported it would be February or March. According to Tobar, the county can begin the infrastructure work at the lake and if the grant is approved the county can be reimbursed for expenses with the proceeds of the grant. “This pre application will allow us to go ahead with work and not delay us until February or March of next year,” Tobar said.
Heard a report from Tobar that he is researching grant opportunities for the Volunteer Fire Department.
Heard a report from the county administrator that the new county website is up and running, but the county staff are still learning how to properly use the software.
Recognized Road Superintendent Stanley Elkins on his first anniversary as the road department head as of Nov. 1.

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