The commissioners will consider a resolution of financial support for the project at their next regular meeting, as the draft resolution was not ready to be voted upon at the meeting.
The commissioners said that they still plan to construct the proposed Airport Road, but said that other funding sources will need to be secured to complete the project. The commissioners still plan to pursue a TIGER grant through the U.S. Department of Transportation.
CAN’T PAY THE BILLS
As is their custom, the commissioners voted to approve the payment of payroll claims at the beginning of their meeting, but voted unanimously to table the payment of other claims. And at the end of their meeting, they decided to recess until 1 p.m. today in lieu of adjourning.
The county’s general fund is currently in the red. That hasn’t stopped the commissioners from paying all bills in the past, but they were able to do so because of a court order that mandated the payment of the sheriff’s department’s expenses. Superior Court No. 1 Judge Vicki Carmichael rescinded that order on Tuesday as a procedural step to allow Sheriff Danny Rodden to sue the county to cover a shortfall of $2.6 million through a mandated tax rate.
Rodden’s lawsuit against the county is set for an emergency hearing today, and a similar order allowing the county to pay the sheriff’s department’s bills will likely be handed down, County Attorney Jake Elder explained.
The general-fund shortfall does not mean the county is broke, County Auditor Monte Snelling said, and the general fund should get back in the black soon. Snelling said the county has a total of more than $25 million in the bank, but it’s mostly in funds that the county can’t use to pay general-fund expenses.