**PRESS RELEASE **
Re: Blount County Government Annual Financial Report
Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2022
BLOUNT COUNTY, TN
Blount County Mayor Ed Mitchell announces the release of Blount County’s Annual Financial Report from the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office for the year ending June 30, 2022.
I am very proud to announce that Blount County has once again received a Clean Audit Report, with no findings. This Clean Audit Report represents the hard work and dedication of all Blount County Elected Officials, Department Heads and employees. Without their cooperation and due diligence, Blount County couldn’t accomplish this for one year, let alone seven (7) out of the last eight (8) years.
When I was elected Mayor, one of my priorities was improving the financial health of Blount County and transparency to the citizens. It’s what inspired me to run for office. We were heading down a financial path that I couldn’t ignore. I want my kids and grandkids to stay here and not have a burden on their backs for past decisions. I want that for all of us who live here.
During my time in office, we’ve accomplished some amazing achievements, to name a few:
- Increased our Bond Rating and maintained at AA+.
- Paid down our debt from around $250 Million to now less than $130 Million. If we were able to pay it off early, the balance would be even lower.
- Increased compensation for our Blount County Employees with a professional Classification and Compensation Plan in place for all departments.
- Implemented improved technology across departments.
We’ve continued this with our new Finance Director Brian Baldwin, who joined us in October of 2021. His expertise and perspective have only added to the integrity and transparency of the finances here in Blount County.
Baldwin says, “My family and I are so happy to call Blount County our home. This continued track record of Clean Audit Reports shows the emphasis that Mayor Mitchell and all Elected Officials place on sound financial practices for Blount County. It also demonstrates the efforts of the County staff to ensure proper collection and use of County funds. It’s important to note during this Audit review period, the County collectively managed a $237 Million budget, increased fund balances, reduced the County’s debt to $129 Million, maintained AA+ credit rating, and did so while meeting all local, State and Federal requirements. None of which is a minor task.”
The support and dedication of the County Commissioners is vital for Blount County’s success, including this Clean Audit Report. I sincerely appreciate their due diligence and commitment to the citizens of Blount County. Chairman Jared Anderson says, “I want to commend our Elected Officials and county employees in all of our County Departments and School System, especially Brian Baldwin and our Accounting and Budgeting team. All employees made this Audit result possible through their hard work and diligence. It gives me confidence as a Blount County citizen and taxpayer that those entrusted with our tax dollars are accounting for everything properly. It also makes me very proud to see that Blount County is once again leading the state in this area as in so many others.”
As Mayor, I hope our citizens understand just how important this Audit Report is for Blount County. This is a major accomplishment and a direct result of the financial responsibility and efforts of our County Departments. We show up every day to serve our citizens to the best of our ability, without increasing taxes or costs to them.
The full report can be viewed at: Blount County 2021-2022 Audit
Press Release questions can be directed to Amy Cowden (865) 273-5700.