The Jackson County government finished fiscal year 2011 in the black according to its recently released audit. But the county continues to struggle with its debt service obligations.
The county’s general fund took in $34.6 million last year and had a positive net of $731,000 after expenses and transfers. The general fund had a total balance of reserves of $10.6 million at the end of the year.
The county’s non-major fund, which includes the various fire districts, EMS, 911, recreation and other income producing departments, had revenues of $6.3 million last year and expenses of $9.5 million, the difference of which is subsidized by general fund dollars.
The county’s debt service was another $6 million in expense in FY2011. That amount will grow in the coming years as the county’s debt payments on the courthouse, jail and economic development roads grow.
The county’s largest single area of expense is public safety at $13.2 million in the general fund and $6.4 million in the non-major funds for a total of nearly $20 million for all the various public safety departments.
The county’s total spending in FY2011 for all funds, including SPLOST and capital projects, was $57.8 million, but part of that, around $4 million, was flow-through funds that went to various municipal governments.