Outside auditor: Gray County in ‘strong financial position’

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The Gray County Commissioners Court met on Monday morning for their first regularly-scheduled meeting of the new year. Commissioners Lake Arrington and Jeff Haley were absent for the meeting.

The Commissioners received the financial audit report from John Merriss of Doshier, Pickens and Francis, LLC during the meeting and received high praises on the audit.

“The County has ended the year (2020) in a very strong financial position,’” Merriss said. “Which is always good, especially considering the year we just finished.”

Merriss noted the County could generate around $6 million more revenue by maxing out their tax rates.

“What this tells the readers is that not only do you have all of the reserves and the ability to take on new debt if you need to (all of the tools needed if something catastrophic happened to the County),” Merriss said. “But you have the ability to maneuver within your tax rate. The Court really has left themselves all of the tools available to handle a catastrophe if the situation should arise.”

Another item to note from the audit is Merriss reported that Gray County Sheriff’s Office and Gray County Jail have seen sizable decreases in spending.

“Outside room/board for prisoners decreased $106,000 from 2019-20,” Merriss said. “Jail food and prison medical combined to decreased $85,000 from 2019-20.”

The Commissioners approved the audit and afterward County Judge Chris Porter lauded the efforts of Sheriff Michael “Big Mac” Ryan and Auditor Carla Carter.

The Commissioners approved the following items:

• Minutes from the previous meeting.

• Pay Bills as Approved by the County Auditor

• Bonds for the Gray County Sheriff, the Gray County Tax Assessor/Collector, Gray County Commissioner Pct. 3 and the Gray County Justice of the Peace Pcts. 1&3

• Accept Resignation of Sherry Seabourn as Historical Committee Chairperson

• Appointment of New Historical Committee Chairperson, Della Moyer.

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