Commissioners ready to adopt budget

Published 8:32 pm Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Decatur County commissioners are prepared to adopt their next fiscal year’s budget at a special meeting next Tuesday morning.

By the accounts of commissioners who spoke at a public hearing on the budget held Tuesday night, the process of creating a budget to operate the county from July 2010 to July 2011 was much easier this year than in previous years. Last summer, commissioners had to overcome several unexpected budget deficits and spent many hours reviewing each of the line items in it.

Commission Chairman Earl Perry, who has served on the commission’s Finance Committee for the past four years drafting budgets, attributed the “extremely smooth” process this year to cooperation between county officials and employees.

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On the plus side, the proposed county budget, if approved, will not result in any employee layoffs, furloughs or pay cuts, Perry said. Also, he said commissioners will not have to raise the county’s millage rate, an option which was discussed but ultimately abandoned for last year’s budget. The millage rate is a variable which is used in calculating property tax assessments.

“I think we can live within the funds available and I think we will have a good year,” Perry said. “There will not be any cuts in [county] services.”

One of the major sources of revenue the county will continue to use to shore up its financial health will come from the county’s Solid Waste Facility on U.S. 27 South, according to County Finance Director Carl Rowland. In the proposed budget, about $1.9 million in net revenue will be transferred from the landfill fund to other proprietary funds and the county’s general fund, Rowland said.

Citizens interested in obtaining summaries or detailed copies of the proposed budget can stop by the County Administration Building, located at 203 W. Broughton Street.

2011 Commission to see major changes

The county commissioners who will be serving on the board in 2011, after this year’s elections for three commission seats are completed, will see major changes to how the board conducts business.

Near the beginning of commissioners’ regular meeting on Tuesday night, Chairman Perry announced that state government officials have given their approval to two requests made by commissioners back in January. Commissioners had asked Decatur County’s representatives in the Georgia Legislature to consider legislation to allow two changes: allow commissioners to rotate who holds the position of chairman and vice-chairman based on the length of time they have served; and to allow the board’s chairman to vote on matters before the board, which he is currently prevented from doing, except in the event of a tie.

Now that the changes have been approved, the next commissioner in line to become chairman is current Vice-Chairman David C. “Butch” Mosely, who represents the Climax area.