MONROE, Ga. — The Walton County government reclaimed about $3.5 million that had sat in a state investment account for more than a decade.

During the Board of Commissioners meeting June 1, Chairman David Thompson said he and the Finance Department found a dormant account in the Water Department assets.

The money, about $3.5 million, had been untouched since August 2008, according to county officials. It was in the Georgia Fund 1, an investment account available for local governments and public entities through the state treasurer’s office.

Oconee County paid the money to the Walton County Water Authority as reimbursement for the upfront costs on the Hard Labor Creek Reservoir.

Of the $3.5 million, $480,000 goes to the county’s general fund. The remainder is unrestricted for the water system and will go for its operational costs and capital improvements.

Thompson previously found nearly $1.7 million of county money in a bank savings account that had been untouched since 2007. That money was returned to the county general fund.

In a news release, the county said nearly $19,233 in special purpose local option sales tax funds was found. Nearly 55% of it went to Good Hope, while the rest was given to Jersey for sidewalk projects.

Thompson and the Finance Department said in the news release they hoped the found money could offset operation costs in the county government and ease strain in the upcoming $60 million budget.

The budget, approved last week, is slightly reduced from fiscal year 2021 and figures to accept the rollback tax rate, which is the amount which would keep revenues level from the previous year.

On a 6-0 vote, the Board of Commissioners accepted Thompson’s recommendation to include a three-step raise for county employees. That’s an average of 3.75% for workers, Thompson said.

In other business, the board appointed Ansley Holder to the Monroe-Walton County Library board and named Shane Short, director of the Development Authority of Walton County, to the Northeast Georgia Regional Commission Council.

Gina Meadows and Charlotte George were reappointed to the board of the Walton County Division of Family and Children Services.

“That is two great appointments to a very tough board,” Commissioner Mark Banks said.

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