LaFayette, GA – Walker County Sole Commissioner Shannon Whitfield provided an update on the road to financial recovery and path to growth at today’s Walker County Chamber of Commerce meeting.
Whitfield revealed how the county’s shared sacrifice approach to tackle $70 million in debt is starting to pay off.
In the fiscal year that ended September 30, 2017, Whitfield slashed $2.4 million from General Fund expenses compared to 2016. In addition, Whitfield approved a balanced budget for fiscal year 2018 last fall and the county has not generated any new debt, as of March 2018. $650,000 has also been paid on the Erlanger debt to date.
The highlight of the road to financial recovery came at the end of the presentation, when Whitfield offered a current snapshot of the debt. The county’s total liabilities as of September 30, 2017 trended down to $66,361,000.
The figure is even lower today, as payments on two Tax Anticipation Notes (TAN), bonds and accounts payable dropped the total liability figure to $52,040,158, as of March 26, 2018. Whitfield noted that number is a moving target and will likely trend up, as the county will need another TAN at some point this summer. Still, the numbers show progress.
Whitfield also introduced new hires Robert Wardlaw, Economic and Community Development Director, and Matt Williamson, Legal and Policy Director. Wardlaw will work to grow existing businesses and recruit new employers. Williamson will review and recommend revisions to codes and policies to prepare Walker County for future growth, among other duties.