By Marcy Stamper

The Okanogan County commissioners approved a resolution to transfer $605,463 into the county’s current-expense fund, if needed, to cover payroll and other expenses. The unanimous approval came after an urgent public hearing on Tuesday (April 26). The resolution allows the money to be transferred by the end of April if necessary.

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

If the anticipated revenue does not come in — or does not come soon enough — this authorization allows 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.

Those numbers have changed from amounts discussed by the commissioners and finance committee at their April 18 meeting because financial staff learned that they can also use money from the medical-reserve fund for this purpose, according to Okanogan County Treasurer Leah Mc Cormack.

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, said 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 public hearing.

At the April 18 meeting, the commissioners and finance committee 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, they would have to hold a separate public hearing.