Reserve Accounts

Reserve Accounts $147.9 million

Although state officials have a permanent mineral trust fund that allows the interest generated from the account to be spent while preserving its principal, local governments have no similar ability to establish a trust fund. Not only are counties lacking the ability to establish permanent accounts, legal precedent has determined that a sitting commission cannot bind a future commission.

With this reality, the Sublette County Commission worked for more than a decade to establish and build reserve accounts for future needs. The reserve accounts are for specific purposes, covering both operations and capital construction needs. The current county budget includes $147,948,483.00 in reserve accounts, split between cash ($10 million); equipment ($11.8 million); and depreciation ($126.1 million). Reserve money is held in interest-earning accounts. In order to be spent, the budget must be amended to transfer the required funding from a reserve account to a spending account.

Cash reserve: $10 million. This money provides for cash flow for county government operations.

Equipment reserve: $11.8 million. Each year, money is set aside to pay for future equipment purchases.

Depreciation reserve: $126.1 million. Since the county does not have the statutory authority to establish a trust fund or rainy day account for future county needs, money is earmarked and set aside in specific reserve accounts for use in the future.