Board of Commissioners Chairman Marty Smith said last December that in 2017 he would focus on cutting wasteful spending, push for growth and unify Carroll County.
On Friday, Smith said the county has work to do, but for the most part he is pleased that finances are in order, staff raises have been given and there are signs of growth.
“We are in fiscally good shape,” Smith said. “We were able to put about a half a million (dollars) back in reserves this past year. We had put $1.1 million back into reserves so we were able to keep our expenses and revenues balanced and get them lowered. I think that’s attributed to our hard work, tough decisions, and conservative leadership team, and our financial director has given us better targets to work with him in setting the revenues and keeping the expenditures.”
Smith said new software has also been beneficial in helping the county government track finances, help it become more fiscally conservative with no need to borrow money.
“We’ve proven to the employees that as we find money, we are going to give back to employees as much as we can,” he said. “We’ve been able to give raises for the past two out of four years, even through the hard economic time. We told them the department heads to help by getting on board to help us as a full team to cut back expenses.
“The board asked for the department heads to look at and create new ways to meet the needs of the citizens and I think they have proven that and we’ve been able to enhance our services. ... We shared resources in many departments and we’re just finding innovative ways to get the job done.”
Smith said permits are up and there are a more revenues now than there were last year. Prior to last year the county had been working with a $2.5 million deficit.
Smith said he is looking forward to working with the Development Authority, to which the Board of Commissioners this fall authorized $500,000.
“Right now our inventory is extremely low so when the state sends us a prospect, we need to have more choices for them to say if they want to be in Carroll County,” he said. “We’ve been very blessed that to have a community partner such a Southwire and with Sugar Foods, we have seen expansion they’ve done here in the community and those have been good. We have had Colorado Premium that brought over 200 jobs and over $15 million in new business and investment to the community so have had some new expansion with our local partners.”