Gregg County fund balance policy might be obstacle for event center
Longview, TX — Gregg County commissioners adopted a fund balance policy Thursday morning that requires county budgeters to save at least 25 percent of general operating expenses annually. The decision could play a central role in future months when commissioners consider working with cities on road projects, building an event center or other capital improvement projects.
Twenty-five percent amounts to 90 days’ operating expenses. In this year’s budget, the policy requires the county to have at least $9.54 million in fund balance reserves on the last day of the fiscal year — Sept. 30, 2012 — because Gregg County is operating on a $38,175,359 general fund budget.
The new policy does not bode well for supporters of an event center — more extravagant than the estimated $10 million rodeo arena that commissioners considered this summer. County Judge Bill Stoudt made it clear, however, the event center is a project initiated, engineered and led by the city of Longview, and he will not borrow money, place Gregg County at financial peril or raise taxes for such a facility.
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