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Bulloch Local Government

Town of Register Operating $93k in the Hole?

The most recent Profit & Loss sheets along with other public accounting documents indicate Bulloch County’s Town of Register may be in trouble. The small town of 175 people can’t get their budget balanced.

In a mess of documents that vary significantly in total amount from the City Clerk’s officer versus what the accountant shows, Register is suffering from a substantial deficit while it works tirelessly to pay off rollover debt. The town has long been shuffling funds from the General Fund to the Public Safety Fund and back again in order to compensate for the annual budget shortfalls.

From July 2014 to June 2015 alone, Register accrued $37,368.36 in debt.

Income Expenses Difference
General Operations $38,956.79 $33,465.09 + $5,491.70
Public Safety $273,529.80 $298,124.77 – $24,594.97
Public Water $35,956.43 $33,922.22 + $2,034.21
Public Service $1,500.00 $21,799.30 -$20,299.30
 
TOTAL $350,123.7 $387,311.38        – $37,368.36

Additionally, the profit and loss sheet for the year shows the following:

  • A loss of $463.64 for police forfeitures
  • A loss of $10,703. 67 for police seizures
  • A loss of $25,871.74 on a 2013 SPLOST project
  • A negative $20,369.97 in “uncategorized expenses”
  • A profit of $920.59 in Random Income

Even without the SPLOST project included in the equation, Register is facing a $67,804.10 loss. With the SPLOST project, the total loss is $93,675.84.

Raising eyebrows are expenses for the town such as donations to Georgia Southern, the part-time mayor’s cell phone bill, thousands in discretionary spending, credit card debt service, and a subscription to The Statesboro Herald.

The biggest concern is that there is no proposed fix or solution in the next fiscal year.

The fate of Register is still to be determined: Will Register be dissolved and returned to the county? Or will substantial cuts be made across the board? Time is of the essence as the council mulls the proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

There is a city council meeting with public comment Thursday, September 17, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. at the Register Town Hall.

Jessica Szilagyi is a Statewide Contributor for AllOnGeorgia.com. She focuses primarily on state and local politics as well as issues in law enforcement. She has a background in Political Science with a focus in local government and has a Master of Public Administration from the University of Georgia. Jessica is a "Like It Or Not" contributor for Fox5 in Atlanta and has two blogs of her own: The Perspicacious Conservative and "Hair Blowers to Lawn Mowers."

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