St. Mary’s Commissioners Request Accounting of Unspent Funds Tied to Building Projects

After unspent funds from construction projects were transferred by budget amendment to a reserve account, St. Mary’s County Commissioners are requesting an accounting of these funds and may explore potential uses.

As reported by Southern Maryland Newspapers Online,

On Tuesday, budget amendments were made that resulted in $5.5 million in unspent funds from building projects going into a reserve account.

Commissioner Mike Hewitt (R) requested a roundup of all of county government’s reserve accounts. “I’m not interested in spending anything. I’m interested in finding everything and see what the total is,” he said.

He said the $5.5 million left over from construction projects is “way too much.”

Depending upon the amount of reserve funds available, Commissioner Hewitt commented that there may be money available for updating textbooks for the school system or establishing a fund where business owners and residents could take out low-interest loans for specific issues related to growth.

Other expressed concern with this concept.

I’d like to see the legality of” a possible pot of money to borrow from county government, Commissioner Todd Morgan (R) said Thursday, as well as where else it has been done, and if it’s been successful.

“I’m cautious about loaning taxpayer dollars out to a startup fund,” he said. What happens if that business fails? “It’s the local people holding the bag,” he said. “There’s a reason why banks lend money.”