County budget more than $700K in hole

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First quarter revenue down, 2nd quarter looks better

By Lou Elliott Jones, Editor

It went almost unnoticed at last week’s Levy County Commission meeting when Sheriff’s Maj. Evan Sullivan said the county budget is running a $732,358 deficit in the first three months of the year.
Sullivan made the comment while announcing Sheriff Johnny Smith will not charge county and city agencies for dispatch services starting this fall as had been previously announced.
“We know there’s an issue,” Sullivan said, referring to the money crunch.
County Commission Chair Danny Stevens (D-District 3) of Williston said it was more than an issue when he first learned of the deficit.
“The first quarter was a jolt to us,” Stevens said of the tax collections between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, 2010. “It shocked me when I sat down to talk to Sheila and Freddie about it.” Stevens was referring to Sheila Rees, the finance clerk in the Levy County Clerk’s Office, and County Coordinator Freddie Moody.
“What we are hoping for is a recovery by the end of the year,” Stevens said.

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