DeKalb CEO says rainy day fund nearly doubled to $103 million

DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond says the government’s rainy day fund has nearly doubled since he took office in 2017.

The county is expected to end 2018 with $103 million in its savings account, also called the fund balance.

DeKalb had ended 2016 with $53.2 million in reserves; Thurmond took office at the beginning of 2017. By the end of that year, there were $81 million in reserves.

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Channel 2's Richard Belcher reports.

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Thurmond is expected to propose his 2019 budget later this month, and he will have to account for sizeable projects already approved by the Board of Commissioners. These include employee pay raises, a new senior center and jail renovations. Thurmond told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that increasing reserves is always his goal.

“In my budget philosophy, that’s where you start,” he said. “And our No. 1 priority since 2017 has been to restore the fund balance, which is the savings account of the county.”

Thurmond said the projected $103 million fund balance could keep the county operating for two months in an emergency.

DeKalb’s reserves were depleted during the economic downturn but have slowly built back up since 2011. The county dipped into reserves in 2014 and 2016, causing slight decreases those years.

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