County approves 2012-13 budget

Published 6:06 pm Friday, July 6, 2012

The Decatur County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the $30.8 million budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year, which runs through June 30, 2013. The budget is significantly lower than the $37.6 million budget that was approved for the 2011-12 fiscal year.

The board approved the fiscal 2012-13 budget in a special called meeting Friday. State law normally requires that the budget must be approved by July 1, but the county was able to postpone that date by approving a spending resolution at their Tuesday, June 26, meeting. A spending resolution simply states that the county will continue spending at the fiscal 2011-12 year levels, at least until the adoption of the new fiscal 2012-13 budget.

The approved 2012-13 budget includes projected revenues of $29,661,124, and projected expenditures of $30,821,323. That deficit will be met with the help of a $3 million Tax Anticipation Note (TAN) loan the county signed earlier this year.

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The budget includes a proposed millage rate of 9.66 mills for Decatur County and 0.25 mills for the Development Authority of Bainbridge and Decatur County.

Perry Henry, a CPA who has been assisting the county with its budget formation process, offers a written summary at the start of the budget document. It reads as follows:

• This budget contains very serious cuts of over $6.8 million, which are mostly in capital expenditures.

• SPLOST funds are almost completely depleted and the county will have very little for capital improvements once intergovernmental agreements and debt service payments are made.

• Transfers have been made between the various funds to demonstrate balanced budgets for each fund. The largest transfer came from the Landfill Fund, of approximately $1.5 million.

• Cell development cost at the landfill is expected to be minimal. Those expenses could change, depending on volume.

• No salary increases are calculated into this budget.

• This budget takes into consideration an estimated $1 million in matching expenditures that will be required for the wastewater treatment plant update. These funds are being provided by transfers from the General Fund to the Water and Sewer Fund.

• The General Fund Budget is being balanced with loan proceeds of $650,898. This is primarily due to the transfer from the General Fund to the Water and Sewer Fund to cover the anticipated $1 million county portion of the plant update expected to be due this budget year. This budget contains no real budget surplus, due to the fact that loan proceeds are required to balance the budget.