Ashley County Quorum Court’s budget committee chairman announced to justices of the peace last Tuesday, July 14, that the county had a shortfall of more than $100,000 for the month of May. 

Justice Jeff Langley told those gathered during his monthly report that the total shortfall was $115,070.

“This is May taxes that are collected and it’s for one month,” Langley said. “Of course, June will be received this month.”

County Treasurer Stacey Breshears said that she wouldn’t have the June numbers until July 25.  The budget committee discussed the issue when they received the April numbers and saw a small drop, but for April the shortfall was less than $5,000.

“Of course we knew this was going to happen and next month we can see if it’s still going this way or if it’s leveling off,” Langley said.

“As of right now the department heads are doing all they can to save and as a county I think we are doing all we can.”

Langley said that some adjustments may have to be made when they get the numbers for June, but for now the county is going to continue to try to operate departments.

Justice Carlton Lawrence said the hospital is also experiencing low revenue and low numbers as well.

Langley, who is on the hospital board, said he wanted to add that the recent funding the hospital has received from state and federal sources in response to COVID-19 has helped.

“The hospital itself is probably in better shape today than it was before COVID, but of course that money is a one-time thing,” Langley said. “I know three or four months ago before the extra money came in it was a nail biter.”

Langley said the hospital board has a plan and is working to overcome the expected challenges and serve the community.

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