Handy Nest Egg
That capital reserve fund carved from Moore County's substantial fund balance won't pay for new buildings, but it is a comfortable cushion for a beginning.
The county's Board of Commissioners last year decided to set aside $8 million from the fund balance to establish the capital reserve fund, and earlier this month the board added another million or so.
The Local Government Commission recommends that local governments retain at least 8 percent of their General Funds as fund balance. Such a retention ensures that the county or town has enough money to cover essentials in time of crisis. The commission, which actually has power to take over a county's tax office if funds run short, would prefer that the balance be twice that minimum.
But Moore County has long exceeded that percentage, at times achieving a balance above 28 percent. Such an achievement reflects wise decisions by the financial team as well as frugal acts by the commissioners. However, the percentage is higher than necessary, and a fiscal policy capping the balance at 15 percent should not jeopardize the county's fiscal stability.
Moore County has maintained a comfortable balance for years and now enjoys a bond rating of AA with Standard and Poor's. The county's independent financial consultant assures county officials that the fund balance decision will not jeopardize our bond rating or financial standing.
That nest egg will come in handy when the county receives the first bills for the $45 million-plus needed for the public safety-detention center and the office building.
More like this story