July 17, 2013 — Carter Fiscal Court met Tuesday morning to review the health department budget, talk with the coroner about his budget, and approve purchases for the E-911 operation.
County Coroner George Sparks requested a work session to examine his various costs and ways that his budget might be increased.
“I don’t have an office. I don’t even have a telephone. There needs to be more funds available for the coroner’s budget,” Sparks said.
He also submitted old expense claims from the previous fiscal year totaling nearly $4,000, the same amount his office is allotted in the county’s annual budget.
The Fiscal Court, however, stated they would be unable to pay the claims using funds from last year’s fiscal budget, because the requests were submitted too late and that budget period is now closed.
“These bills should have been turned in during last year’s budget cycle. We can’t go back and retroactively pay these,” said Magistrate Mary Ellen Greenhill.
The Court did not refuse to pay the claims, but clarified that funds to pay them would have to be deducted from the Coroner’s budget for the current fiscal year.
“I’m not being mean here but I assume that with you being an elected official, you would know what your duties are,” she added.
“I know what my job is,” Sparks responded. “If I need to come up here and get the squeaky wheel going, I can do that. I don’t want to, but I can,” Sparks said. “A $4,000 budget is an embarrassment.”
The Little Sandy District Health Department also submitted a request for an increase in its tax rate from three cents to four cents per $100 of assessment for the upcoming year.
“This is the first time since 1983 that we’ve asked for an increase,” said board chairman Lloyd Miller, who will soon retire.