Shift would cover payroll, other expenses

By Marcy Stamper

The Okanogan County commissioners are holding an urgent public hearing on Tuesday (April 26) about potential fund transfers that would be used to cover payroll and other expenses if necessary. The hearing is part of the authorization process to be sure that the money can be transferred by the end of April if needed.

The county’s financial committee said last week that they expect property taxes, which are due at the end of April, and other anticipated revenue will address the cash-flow problems. But the shortfall compelled the finance committee to transfer $500,000 from their reserve fund to the current-expense fund at the end of March.

If the anticipated revenue does not come in – or does not come soon enough – this authorization would allow the county to transfer approximately $279,000 (the rest of the reserve fund), $76,000 from the vehicle-reserve fund, and $250,000 from the medical-reserve fund, all to current expense.

Approving the transfers will allow the commissioners to draw on the money if necessary at any time during the year. The money will remain in the original funds until it is needed, according to Okanogan County Treasurer Leah Mc Cormack.

“The purpose of the transfer will help minimize the impacts to employees through other means,” according to the county’s legal notice about the hearing.

At a meeting on April 18, the commissioners and financial staff also discussed the possibility of an interfund loan of up to $750,000 from the solid-waste closure fund to current expense. They haven’t made a decision about whether to pursue the loan and want to see how finances look after April, said Mc Cormack. If the county decides to do an interfund loan, the commissioners would have to hold a separate public hearing.

The public hearing about the transfers is Tuesday (April 26) at 10 a.m. in the commissioners’ hearing room in Okanogan. People may comment at the hearing or in advance to ljohns@co.okanogan.wa.us.