Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Knox County expects $2.2M surplus

Some 2,000 Knox County government employees and members of the Sheriff’s Office are set to receive a $500 bonus thanks to an expected $2.2 million in surplus revenues and savings as local leaders officially close the financial books on last year’s budget.

In addition, surplus monies will cover 400 bullet proof vests for deputies and $200,000 for the Knoxville Volunteer Rescue Squad.

The Civil Sessions Clerk will receive $70,000 for equipment and software maintenance and the Karns Volunteer Fire Department will pull in $75,000 to fulfill equipment needs.

The county also is prepared to give the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley $100,000 and the health department $135,000 for records remodeling and signage.

"By operating in an efficient manner, we are able to use these surplus funds for one-time expenses,” Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett said. “This surplus was possible thanks to the hard work of our employees, and I'm happy we are able to offer them a one-time bonus as a show of our appreciation.”

As the county closes its books on the recently wrapped up fiscal year, the administration says it expects between $2.2 million to $2.5 million in surplus for its general fund, which covers much of the government’s day-to-day operations.

The money comes from an uptick in tax collections and overall departmental savings.

The county plans to spend most of it on a number of items that officials say will benefit the courts, emergency personnel and the health department.

The county also plans to use some $50,000 of the surplus to build a park in Karns for those who are disabled and $282,000 at the Foote Mineral site in southwest Knoxville for a park and horse trails.

“Thanks to their work and a fiscally responsible approach to government, we are able to also better protect our deputies by purchasing life-saving vests, purchase needed equipment, make facility improvements and support various emergency services,” Burchett said. “And best of all, we've been able to do this without raising taxes and while also reducing the county's overall debt."

The Knox County Commission will talk more about the surplus during its meeting on Monday.

Rest of story HERE.

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