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Saturday February 13th, 2016 7:58AM

1st Quarter report shows improving Hall economy

By Jerry Gunn Reporter
GAINESVILLE - If the Hall County Government Financial Status Update for the 1st Quarter of Fiscal Year 2014 can be used as an economic indicator, it's a good one.

County Commissioners have reason to be optimistic about the financial shape of things to come for county government and the county in general.

Financial Services Director Vickie Neikirk reports that building permits are going up from just over $93,000 to $230,000.

"To me that shows that the building industry is coming back," Neikirk said at Thursday's regular meeting. "This is a good sign, I think, for our economy; construction is a big part of our industry in Hall County and I think this is very important."

Neikirk said the county's end of the year reserve or fund balance would increase by $8-million with most of that increase from the sale of old county jail.

"The fund balance for the General Fund was $14.9-million at the end of FY 2012," Neikirk told commissioners. "The FY 13 Audit is in process and the fund balance is projected to increase by another estimated $8-million to $22.9-million, with $7.2-million of that increase from the sale of the jail."

In her update of county department and agency budgets, Neikirk reported the county is operating under budget through the first quarter.

"We are seeing signs of economic improvement," Neikirk concluded. "It's anticipated that the county will end Fiscal Year '14 with a positive fiscal picture."
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