County ends 2021 with $29 million

While overall reserves dropped slightly in 2020, this latest fiscal year has more than made up for any decreases, according to the 2021 audit presented to Delta County Commissioners this week. Eighteen of the county’s 21 funds increased leaving the county with $29 million in cash compared to $23 million in 2020. That’s a 26 percent increase in reserves.


Local auditor Pete Blair attributed the excess funds to higher-than-expected sales tax collection and federal COVID relief funds.


On at least three occasions, Blair told Commissioners that he believes the public misunderstands the county budget. Of the $29 million in cash that the county ended its 2021 fiscal year with, some $17 million of it is allocated in various funds or is restricted to specific sending. “I don’t think the public really realizes this,” said Blair.


The county has received $3 million in American Rescue Funds, commonly known as COVID relief funds, and expects an additional $3 million later this year.


Back the Badge is the county’s newest income generator after residents voted to increase sales taxes to pay for improved law enforcement in a 2020 ballot initiative. That account ended 2021 with almost $1 million in reserve.