Sussex County government ended the fiscal year 2012 budget year with a surplus of $854,029, according to a recently released audit report.

Sussex County government ended fiscal year 2012 with a surplus of $854,029, according to a recently released audit report.

The report, prepared by public accounting firm BDO USA, was accepted by Sussex County Council at its Jan. 22 meeting.

County officials have committed roughly $320,000, or about 37.5 percent, of the surplus funds to help pay for the addition of four more Delaware State Police troopers who will be assigned to the county starting in the spring.

The remaining $524,000 of the surplus from fiscal year 2010, which ended June 30, will be applied toward the county's general fund, county officials said, adding that county council is awaiting staff recommendations for the allocation of those funds.

The fiscal year 2012 surplus represents the third straight year of greater revenue than expenditures for the county, although the most recent surplus is about only about 25 percent of the

$3.4 million in excess revenue recorded at the end of fiscal year 2011.

"We're seeing some small increases and glimmers of growth, particularly in the realty transfer tax and building permits, but overall the economy is relatively flat," County Finance Director Susan Webb said.

Actual revenues were $1.4 million more than what the county anticipated for fiscal year 2012, most of which was the result of higher-than-expected realty transfer tax revenue and an increase in sheriff's sales resulting from foreclosures, county officials said.

Those gains, however, were offset by weaker-than-expected income from the interest generated by investments, as well as the late receipt of a state grant that will be recorded in the fiscal year 2013 audit report.