HALIFAX COUNTY, N.C. — County commissioners voted 4-2 Monday to not bail out Halifax County Community College, even though an audit showed the college was running out of operating funds.
"They are not blowing smoke. They are going to run out of local funds," auditor Bryan Starnes said.
The audit questioned why the college used its operating fund to pay for things like legal fees, insurance premiums, cell phones and student campus projects. That money comes from the county.
The audit showed the community college should have covered the costs in other parts of the budget, which still have plenty of money.
"I hope they understand what went on today and the message we're trying to send to them to get their house in order," said Bill Pierce," chairman of the Halifax County commissioners.
However, not all commissioners share the same opinion.
"We have to go along with their budget, so they can operate. Their people have reason and common sense. I think they know how to deal with a budget just like a board of directors," Halifax County commissioner Horace Johnson said.
Trustee Jack Moore said the college administration needs to make changes in the future.
"We've got to go back and get control of these finances instead of coming in and saying this is what we spent," Moore said.
Representatives of Halifax County Community College left Monday's meeting without comment. President Ted Gasper and Board of Trustees chairman Kenneth Brantley did not attend the meeting.
The commissioners left the door open for another request next month in case the community college cannot shift around its finances.