Local banks invited to discuss options for county accounts
Morgan County’s taxpayer dollars are often at the center of discussions at County Commission meetings, but last Thursday, money talk moved in a different direction.
Commission President Stacy Dugan blocked off most of the morning during the June 16 meeting to hear presentations by experts with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and from local bank officials.
Calvin Troup and Martin Becker of the FDIC made a 45-minute phone presentation about rules governing the security of public money in bank accounts.
They outlined the limits of the federal insurance, which was put in place to protect deposits in case of bank failure.
Morgan County’s deposit accounts and certificates of deposit fall under the FDIC’s protection, up to $250,000 per interest-bearing account per official custodian.
Currently, non-interest bearing accounts like checking accounts are insured in full, regardless of the dollar amount.
Accounts held by the Morgan County government over the insured amount are secured by the bank through securities, said CNB Bank, Inc. president Tom Rokisky.
Morgan County currently holds nearly all of its accounts with CNB Bank, Inc.
Commissioners Brenda Hutchinson and Brad Close expressed their satisfaction and confidence with CNB at several times during the morning discussion.
Commissioner Dugan thanked Rokisky for reviewing the county’s securities coverage and how the bank guarantees the safety of taxpayer money in their accounts.
She asked if the county could get regular reports about the performance and values of the pledged securities.
Dugan asked officials from other banks – BB&T, City National Bank and the Bank of Romney – to talk about their bank services, types of accounts and rates.
Dugan asked each if they were interested in doing banking business with the county government, and what their experience had been with other counties or government bodies.
All of the banks expressed a desire to do business with the Morgan County government.
The regional representative for City National Bank said that, in her experience, many counties asked banks to bid on banking services – offering their best account terms and rates in a sealed bid so county officials county could thoroughly compare interest rates, fees and account features.
Require board audits?
In other business, resident and business owner Connie Perry suggested to the County Commissioners that they require all of the boards and groups under their umbrella to submit yearly financial audits along with their annual budgets.
“Money should be handled in a business-like way. If you’re going to ask the public for money, you should show how you use it,” said Perry.
Commissioner Close said many boards do submit audits, but that can be expensive for small groups.
Perry used the Morgan County Rescue Service as an example, saying she had attended two recent information sessions about the squad but hadn’t seen detailed financial information to answer some of her questions.
Commissioner Hutchinson said the Rescue Squad’s financials were available for public view at the Commission office anytime, and she thought they had submitted an audit this year.
“Transparency is the key and we all agree on that,” said Commissioner Close.