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Without SRS, fiscal 2017 swallowed a quarter of Idaho County’s Road & Bridge fund reserves

Three similar years would empty the coffers

Idaho County Courthouse

Photo by David Rauzi
Idaho County Courthouse

— The annual audit of Idaho County’s budget, the year-end 2017 edition of which was presented to the commission on April 17, documented the county’s position: a net value of almost $21 million, including more than $12 million invested in capital assets.

The audit took a deep dive into the county’s finances, examining how the county’s actual practice compared to its budget. The auditors reviewed all the county’s revenues and spending, and their report put the general fund and the three largest county funds – Road & Bridge, Airport and Solid Waste – under a spotlight.

During the April 17 meeting, the auditor company representative, Jordan Zwygart of Millington Zwygart CPA of Caldwell, presented the findings – and at several points, the commissioners remarked on the impact of Secure Rural Schools funding on the roads fund.

Including grants, the County Road & Bridge took in $1.4 million during the fiscal year that ended last September, and spent $2.3 million, reducing the fund balance from $3.9 million at the start of the fiscal year to $3 million at year’s end.

After Zwygart finished his report, commissioner Denis Duman remarked that the 2017 fiscal year consumed roughly a quarter of the county’s road reserves and pointed out that three similar years would exhaust the rest.

The Zwygart report indicates the county road and bridge fund had actually expended, in total, nearly $990,000 less than the commissioners had budgeted for the fiscal year – and that the fund had received $1.5 million fewer grant dollars than budgeted, making the fund’s actual total revenues $936,000 less than budgeted.

When Zwygart pointed out the difference between the actual revenues and what the county had anticipated, commission chairman Skip Brandt remarked that this was a consequence of the absence of Secure Rural Schools funding.

The county airport fund also saw about $1 million less come in than the county commissioners had budgeted for, on account of about $1.1 million less in grant funding than had been anticipated. The airport fund also spent about $1.2 million less than the board had budgeted for capital outlay, so the airport fund ending balance actually increased $350,000 compared to that fund’s starting balance.

While the solid waste fund saw about $2,400 more in revenue than budgeted, and while the solid waste fund spent about $120,000 less than budgeted, the fund’s starting balance shrank about $27,000 to $251,224.


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