The re-ordering of Norfolk’s finances is continuing with a call to contractors and others to collect their outstanding security deposits.
Security deposits are required as a condition of doing work that potentially impacts public property.
But contractors, builders, developers and private citizens requiring permits sometimes forget their deposits and leave them to languish in municipal limbo.
“Examples of such deposits are for road damages and lot grading,” tax collector Sue Boughner said in a report to Norfolk council.
“The onus for claiming a refund rests with the party who paid the deposit.”
The new Norfolk County inherited a number of these accounts upon its formation in 2001. Norfolk has accumulated more since. In this round of reconciliations, the treasury department is focused on security deposits accumulated from the county’s formation to Dec. 31, 2015.
In February, council gave treasury staff permission to transfer $381,000 to a contingency reserve fund. Contractors remain eligible to claim their payments. They will be paid once they file a claim and their work is reviewed to the county’s satisfaction.
“In order to avoid carrying deposits for multiple years in future, staff recommends the practice of transferring five-year-old deposits to the contingency reserve (as) part of the annual year-end accounting processes,” Boughner says in her report.
Norfolk will advertise the availability of this cash. Forms for download will be available on the county website. Norfolk Mayor Kristal Chopp said the repositioning of this money is part of the county’s ongoing effort to update its accounting practices.
“These policies are being implemented to make sure our financial picture is being reflected accurately,” she said.