LFC Comments by Brian Massie, Concord Resident
We were curious about the $350 million that Lake County has invested. We asked the basic question: “Who has title to those funds?” We received the following “Funds Report” from the very capable Finance Director, Michael Matas.
We discovered several accounts that needed more research, so we again asked Mr. Matas for some details. Here is what we confirmed:
(1) The Deepwood Center, as of April 30, 2021, had $64,492,152.12 in surplus funds. Their budget stabilization fund was $15,073,415.01. As a comparison, the County’s budget stabilization fund was $9,042,400.00. Deepwood’s reserves have now grown to over $65 million per Mr. Matas.
(2) Account number 894 is titled “Surplus Over” and as of April 30, 2021 totaled $5,324,376.05. “This fund is the accumulation of overages of tax payments through the Treasurer’s Office on various parcels of real estate for various reasons.”
(3) Account number 803 is titled “Unclaimed Monies” and as of April 30, 2021 totaled $735,359.71. This is an account that is monitored by the Auditor’s office and the monies accumulated in this account are “unclaimed funds after a county department or an estate cannot locate the beneficiaries of the estate”.
The following letter was received from the Auditor’s office, and it appears that they have resolved all issues dealing with account number 803 – unclaimed monies.
Regarding the Deepwood Center, we sent the following letter to the Lake County Budget Commission asking that they review the cash balance reserves and determine what is an appropriate amount for Deepwood’s “rainy day fund”.
There will be a public meeting of the Lake County Budget Commission in the Lake County Prosecutor’s office on August 2nd, at 9:30 am. LFC plans to attend the meeting, and will record a video for our readers.
Regarding the account number 894 “Surplus Over” controlled by the Treasurer’s Office, we met with a representative of the Treasurer’s office and was shown a rather large binder of computer print-outs [~6″ high] with entries going back into the 1980’s. When we asked why the money has not gone back to the taxpayers, we were told that they were short of staff. We promptly offered our assistance in trying to resolve the issue, but we have yet to hear from the Treasurer on our offer. Either the money has to go back to the taxpayers, or it goes into the General Fund.
Let’s do some math:
Deepwood $65 million, Account 894 $5.2 million, Account 803 $735,000….add them all up and you are at approximately $70.9 million. If we assume that Deepwood needs $9 million in their budget stabilization fund, that means $61.9 million should go back to the taxpayers or back into the General Fund to help Lake County taxpayers..
We will continue to follow-up on this story for our readers…