June 20, 2016
While they brag of a higher fund balance, this group of commissioners has added more and more debt, more spending, and higher taxes each year they have been in office. They can spend more because they have pushed the payments for all their debt out for almost a decade to let other boards struggle with taking care of paying for it.
As you can see in the chart, FY13 capital leases were $375,228. The FY13 audit included 1/2 of the previous board and 1/2 of this BOC. In FY15, leases were $1,261,387. If interest were included, another $85,600 would bring the capital lease debt to $1,347,022—almost one million dollars more debt in two years.
There is “Capital Lease” debt and there is “Contracts Payable;” both are considered long term debt in the audit. Contracts payable is money due from Jasper County to the Joint Development Authority a/k/a the Four County Development Authority or Stanton Springs.
In FY 13 Contract Payables were $501,218. In FY 15 this increased to $935,551 due to this BOC signing for another $5.9M of debt for JDA at their very first meeting in 2013. Jasper’s share of that debt would be $590,000 plus interest.
FY16 will not bring us any relief from debt because more equipment and more Sheriff’s cars have been financed. Additionally, in FY 16 this BOC signed on and obligated Jasper County to a $1.3M note owed by JDA to the Bank of Madison and another $600,000 LOC (line of credit) that JDA is drawing on.
Jasper County made it through the tough years of 2009 and 2010 in particular because they had very little debt. It won’t be that easy in the future with the additional debt this BOC keeps piling on year after year.
Be informed! Get involved!