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Hopkins County Receives A+ Financial Rating

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Hopkins County last week received an A+ financial last week from the outside agency that evaluated the county’s finances, Hopkins County Auditor Shannah Aulsbrook and Judge Robert Newsom reported during Monday morning’s regular Hopkins County Commissioners Court meeting.

“Our financial situation in Hopkins County came out an A+ and we are so thankful,” Newsom said. “The citizens stayed with us. The citizens have moved forward with us. There was a time when it wasn’t. We just received that last week and I just wanted to tell the world.”

The county had the finances evaluated when considering refinancing some existing bonds in an effort to save taxpayer dollars on repayment of the debt. The county will be saving $70,000-$80,000 by refinancing and “updating the policy” on the bond taken out to construct the new jail a few years ago, according to Newsom.

“They went through our finances, an outside agency did, and we came up A+. We are very happy about that,”

As part of the refinancing process, it was discovered that the county’s investment policy needed updating, as the last policy was approved in 2014. So, the Commissioners Court was asked Monday to approve an policy that is the same as in 2014, except it includes the name and signature for the current treasurer, Aulsbrook explained.

“It’s to satisfy Local Government Code 116.12, that just states that we have to adopt a formal investment policy. So whenever we were doing our bond rating, we realized that we do not have a new investment policy in place with Danny’s name on it,” Aulsbrook said, referring to County Treasurer Danny Davis. “This investment policy will have Danny’s signature on it.”

The policy lists an investment committee which consists of the Hopkins County Treasurer, Auditor, Tax Assessor/Collector, County Clerk, Commissioners Court and Judge.

The court unanimously approved the new 2021 county investment policy as presented, with the updated names and signatures.

Aulsbrook also asked the court to approve two budget amendments for Hopkins County Fire Department: one to transfer insurance proceeds into the department’s repairs and maintenance fund to reimburse costs incurred for repairs to a truck that sustained damage while on a call, and another to transfer money from the county’s general fund balance into the fire department budget to address unforeseen repairs and expenses.

The Court approved the budget amendments as presented, as well as bills, revenues and expenses, payroll and financial statements, consent agenda with minutes of the prior meeting and works session held May 10.

During public forum, Dike resident Michele Barnes expressed displeasure with the company behind the solar project, its contractors and the project, while property owners Dwight Maxson and Tim Fuller who each have land involved in the project showed support for it and the Commissioners Court.

The court then entered into an executive session to discuss “real estate possibilities,” prior to their regular work session.

Hopkins County Commissioners Court

Author: Faith Huffman

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