RALEIGH — Last week, the N.C. Local Government Commission (LGC) unanimously voted in favor of taking over the finances of Spring Lake. Unless action is taken soon, the town will be close to default on upcoming debt-service payments totaling $221,385.
The resolution to take control of the town’s finances was passed at the Oct. 5 meeting and instructs LGC Secretary Sharon Edmundson to “impound the books and records of the Town, assume control of the finances of the Town and oversee and direct all its financial affairs as set out in N.C.G.S. Chapter 159 and the rules of the Commission.”
The LGC is chaired by State Treasurer Dale Folwell, who has been warning of fiscal issues concerning Spring Lake for months. In May, several towns were in dire financial straits with the potential of having their charters revoked.
According to a press release by Folwell’s office, “At a July 26 emergency meeting LGC staff said the town’s governance system did not comply with state statutes requiring that local governments establish and maintain an accounting system designed to show in detail liabilities, equities, revenues and expenditures.”
Spring Lake is located in Cumberland County and has roughly 12,000 residents. The treasurer’s office notes that the town is one of two that have “voluntarily entered into a Fiscal Accountability Agreement with the LGC” in order to help them “meet obligations and duties under the Local Government Budget and Fiscal Control Act.”