County coffers behind last year

Warren County is getting short on cash.

The county’s coffers are almost $1 million lower than they were at this time last year.

According to fiscal director Toby Rohlin, the county had $301,000 in cash on hand as of Wednesday’s meeting of the county commissioners. That figure is $980,000 less than a year ago.

He attributed the difference to three factors.

First, the county started the year with about $500,000 less than it started with last year. “We knew that,” he said. “We planned for that.”

Second, revenues are also down, particularly with respect to state and federal grant dollars. “The state is cutting, the feds are cutting,” Commissioner John Eggleston said. “They’re both slow in paying.”

And third, last year’s numbers were mistakenly recorded somewhat higher than they should have been.

The county does have access to about $2.5 million of a $3.5 million tax anticipation note it took out earlier this year. The $1 million already spent was taken into account in the comparison, Rohlin said.

Among the $85,000 in bills the commissioners paid Wednesday was an item for more than $800 for the prescription antipsychotic medication Abilify for one patient.

Psychotropic drugs were a major concern, and expense, for the Warren County Jail in the past. In 2008, the county spent more than $130,000 on medications for jail inmates.

County and jail officials have worked to bring that number down. In the first quarter of 2012, the county spent $15,150 on medications. The 2013 budget includes $60,000 for the year, Rohlin said, and after the first quarter, costs were about $3,000 over budget at $18,060.

Commissioner John Bortz said he would talk to Warden Ken Klakamp about the medication situation.

The commissioners proclaimed next week – April 22 through 26 – Crime Victims’ Rights Week and Telecommunicator Week. They proclaimed Monday, April 22, a day of commemoration and remembrance for victims of DUI.

The commissioners said they have a standing policy against proclaiming days, weeks or months in honor of individuals.