Floyd County is facing some unique financial circumstances this year, and because of that, our local government leaders should take extra steps to ensure all funds are appropriately spent. 

The money appears to be falling out of trees lately throughout this region, with announcements from state and federal officials about all sorts of  funds that will be lining the coffers of our local government agencies.

Since August, the grants, coal severance and federal funds announced have totaled almost $1.5 million for the Floyd County Fiscal Court, $1.5 million for the Southern Water and Sewer District, $373,500 for the City of Prestonsburg, $82,600 for Wayland, $10,300 for Wheelwright, $8,300 for Martin and $2,500 for Allen.

All of these funds were announced after most of these local governments adopted their 2019-2020 budgets.

As announced in August, September and this month, the fiscal court is set to receive $626,000 in excess coal severance funds, $667,000 in discretionary funds for roadwork, $100,000 for the Middle Creek National Battlefield and $100,000 in Flex funding for road work.

Funding announcements also included $1.5 million in federal funds for Southern Water to buy new meters and, in Prestonsburg, $42,800 in excess coal severance, $145,700 in discretionary funding and $185,000 in federal funding for the planning of a water trail. 

In Wayland, the announcement included $5,600 in excess coal severance and $77,000 in discretionary funding, while the rest of the funds announced come from excess coal severance that was announced in August. 

While all of this unexpected funding brings a sigh of relief to these local governments, it makes us quibble a bit because not one of these local governments has discussed the need to amend their fiscal year budgets to show how these additional funds will be spent. Officials of one local government reported they didn’t have to amend the budget because the prior budget had been cushioned so that the excess funds would just fall into categories that had already been budgeted.

That doesn’t cut it, folks.

Floyd County taxpayers deserve and need to know exactly what’s coming in and exactly how it will be spent. And they shouldn’t find out at the end of the fiscal year, after the funds have already been expended.

We encourage all local governments who obtained additional funding to please consider amending your budgets to reflect those changes.

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