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Two Monroe County officials gave a presentation Tuesday in hopes of quelling fears about a looming financial dilemma.
The officials spoke before the County Council about the fact that the County Treasurer’s Office has fallen several months behind on required financial reports.
Without filing the monthly documents, the county would be unable to distribute tax money to other units within the County, potentially leaving local governments like the city of Bloomington and the town of Ellettsville unable to meet their obligations.
Although the office hasn’t filed a report since May, County Treasurer Cathy Smith said her staff made up for lost time in recent weeks.
“We’ve been working hand-in-hand with the Auditor’s and Commissionors Office in keeping up to speed with where we are each day,” Smith said, “I think it’s fair to say that we are in the final preparations to approve a settlement.”
The County Auditor’s Office needs to approve the reports by Dec. 20 in order to send money on to other governmental units.
Auditor Steve Saulter said he’s confident the money will be distributed, even if the entire process is not complete in time.
Saulter said that’s partly because the law allows him to distribute 95% of the money before all the approvals are finished.
“I can’t promise we’ll get the whole settlement process done with the timing and holidays,” Saulter said, “We’ll complete the process the first week of January.”
During the presentation, Smith made another request to the County for a fifth employee in her office. She said that would help address future issues like this one, which she said was caused by the loss of a staff member.
“We don’t want to lose someone with all the knowledge again,” Smith said, “It just doesn’t make sense.”
Several members of the County Council thanked the Treasurer’s office for working to complete the reports before the deadline. Council President Geoff McKim said the county avoided what could have been a “pretty serious problem,”