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The Madison County Government Center 

ANDERSON — The Madison County general fund operating balance is at the highest level in recent memory.

Auditor Rick Gardner said Tuesday at the Madison County Council meeting that the cash on hand balance at the end of 2021 was $12,745,000.

“We like the balance to be in the range of $9 million to $9.5 million,” he said. “That allows us to make it to the next (property) tax draw.”

Gardner said the rainy day fund balance was $1,956,356 and there was a balance of $453,000 in the public safety account.

Council members voted unanimously to transfer $2 million from the general fund operating balance to the rainy day fund.

Last year the council voted to transfer $100,000 monthly to the rainy day fund.

“Ideally we need to have a rainy day fund balance of 10% to 15% of the county’s overall budget,” Gardner said. “By the end of the year there should be a balance of $5.7 million in that fund.

“It gives the county financial stability,” he said.

Councilman Anthony Emery said it’s important the county have a healthy rainy day fund.

“We need those funds for unexpected expenses, like replacing the elevators in the courthouse,” he said.

Councilman Jerry Alexander said normally the council is dealing with spending money.

“It’s wise to place the money in the rainy day fund,” he said.

Gardner said the county has been able to build up a good fund balance in two years.

“This will provide additional cash flow in the future,” he said.

Gardner said the transfer brings the general fund operating balance to $10.7 million.

The council approved a loan from the general fund operating balance of $1.3 million to pay into the retirement account for the merit officers of the Madison County Sheriff’s Department.

The loan has to be repaid by the end of 2022.

“By paying in advance we earn additional interest in the retirement account,” Gardner said. “The loan will be repaid as revenues are collected.”

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.

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Senior Reporter covering Anderson and Madison County government, politics and auto racing for The Herald Bulletin. Has been working as a journalist in central Indiana since 1977.