Letter: The Fund Balance Isn’t Dry?

So, the fund balance is not so dry after all!

Eureka! We do have the money to address our desperate First Responder and Animal Shelter needs.

Yes there are millions of dollars just lying fallow in the county’s fund balance – the same fund balance that Mr. Bell has been telling us is dry, all spent by the previous administration.

In fact, council has $4.2 million in an account named Mt. Zion leases. The county does have a Mt. Zion building lease obligation to pay – about $600,000 annually. Why not hold back two years’ worth of the lease payments ($1.2 million) which would leave $3,000,000 in the lease account to address the immediate aforementioned needs?

We could annually replenish the two-year safety period, and use the rest of the money for desperate needs while minimizing the impact of value erosion due to inflation.

Furthermore, that “dry” fund balance contains $4.5 million non-earmarked money. There’s also $1.5 million earmarked for the ER which is only supposed to receive $1 million annually. Another $450,000 is tucked away camouflaged by vague descriptions. There’s even $10, 000 set aside for the long ago closed Fairfield Memorial Hospital. Really?

Remember these hidden funds are in addition to the county’s rich revenue stream from the nuclear plant which is providing one of the state’s highest per capita revenues.

We do not, however, have any more money to waste for council members’ individual inane, misguided wants.

So, yes, we do have money to seriously address the desperate needs of first responders and the animal shelter. But, as council twiddles, inflation is eating away at the value of those funds.

Let’s prudently put those funds to good use supporting our woefully underfunded first responders and animal shelter.  Obviously, we should not spend it all now, but we could use some of it to cure a lot of severe ills in our county and still have plenty left for obligations and rainy days.

Hopefully, council will act quickly and rationally with smart application of the not-so-dry fund balance.

Randy Bright


Contact us: (803) 767-5711 | P.O. Box 675, Blythewood, SC 29016 | [email protected]