Kellie Rhoades, our Lake Butler Rotarian and Clerk of the Court/Comptroller, provided the 2019 “State of the Union” report a publication that was delayed until May 2020 due to the corona virus. This annual fiscal report for FY ending September 30, 2019 meets the Government Finance Officers Association requirements. Our Union County has roughly 10,000 citizens and 4,700 inmates. Our “A” ranked school district has a student enrollment of 2,272 in 2019 and our annual budget is $17.6 million.
The fiscal responsibility for Union County is shared by the Board of County Commissioners and the Clerk of the Court/ Comptroller. As a county we are debt free and our legal expenses (potential phosphate mining) and eradication of the courthouse bat infestation are the two biggest challenges. For every dollar in taxes 50 cents goes to run our county, 46 cents runs our School Board, 2 cents funds our library and 2 cents supports the Suwanee River Water Management District. Intergovernmental Revenue and taxes are the two major revenues and our expenses primarily fund public safety, general government and transportation. A 1% (approximately $800,000) user tax is on the November ballot. Agriculture and Corrections form the basis of our economy. Our major challenge is the small revenue tax base. Our principal employers are DOC, UC School Board, Pritchett Trucking, Centurion-RMC & UCI, and West Frasier that take up 60.14 percent of the estimated work force.
Union county is fortunate to have a good financial picture.
The “Did You Know?” question involved the nationality of Alexander Fleming who discovered penicillin on September 15, 1928. The answer is Scotland.
Upcoming Rotary Programs: Nancy Griffis- Sept 22, paul Lewis- Oct 6, Art Peterson- Oct 13, Jack Schenck- Oct 20, Russ Wade- Oct 27, and Brad Whitehead- Nov 3.
Please note that the UCHS Homecoming Parade is Friday, Sept 25 and the Military Veteran Floats will be honored up front. The American Legion Post 153 meets Thursday, October 15 at 7:00 pm starting with a covered dish supper at the Masonic Lodge Dining Room (325 W Main Street, Lake Butler, FL).