There is a theory, based at least partly on fact, that government agencies nearing the end of their budget years sometimes rush to spend any money they have left before the fiscal year closes. While not always true, there are cases when government agencies fear next year’s money may be cut if all of this year’s isn’t spent, and act accordingly.
That fact makes last month’s return of suplus funds to Forsyth County by the Department of Family and Children’s Services even more newsworthy.
DFCS funding comes from a combination of county, state and federal funds. Over a period of time the agency had banked a surplus of some $523,000 in surplus appropriations provided by the county, and last month officials told county commissioners they would like to return the money.
To satisfy accounting procedures, the commission in turn agreed to increase appropriations to DFCS for this year by $42,000 to meet an immediate budget shortfall. The ongoing county commitment to the agency will be reviewed to determine what it should be moving forward.
But accounting specifics aside, it is encouraging to see any government agency offer a refund of surplus money that may be put to use through allocation in a different arena.
All governments are faced with the same tight economic conditions being weathered by those in the private sector, and the local DFCS office could have let the surplus sit in a bank account rather than being returned to the county.
Kudos to DFCS for not hoarding money it could have fought to keep, and for the county commission for agreeing to the short-term boost in allocation for the agency that in turn is giving money back to the county.
Leave a package for your postman
Forsyth Countians this week have a great chance to help others without ever leaving their homes.
The United Way and the Cumming Post Office are again joining forces for a food drive May 13-14.
Donors can leave nonperishable food items at their mailboxes for mail carriers to pick up, or can bring their donations to the Cumming post office. Ten food banks in the Forsyth community will benefit from the food drive.
The local effort is part of the annual Stamp Out Hunger Drive conducted by the National Association of Letter Carriers. The United Way has helped promote and publicize the effort in Forsyth County for the past two years.
Last year’s local effort netted more than 12 tons of contributions, and there is hope this year’s drive will bring in even more.
To participate, all you have to do is leave donated items by your mailbox on either of the two days. Donations can be made at the post office all week.
Current economic conditions mean the demand is high. Grab a sack, clean out the pantry and leave your mailman a special delivery package on Friday or Saturday.