Coweta 2009 budget up for vote next week

Thu, 09/18/2008 - 2:56pm
By: Ben Nelms

Coweta County commissioners Sept. 16 held a public hearing on the county’s proposed $60.5 million General Fund budget that will take effect beginning in October. The increase of approximately $900,000 in the proposed 2009 budget represents an increase of just over one-percent. Commissioners are expected to adopt the budget Sept. 23.

A few of the largest budget categories include those for the sheriff and road construction. The Sheriff’s budget shows an increase of $1.147 million to $10.364 million while road construction with an increase of $1.4 million to $6.601 million.

Revenues for 2009 are expected to total $60,503,600. Property tax revenues are projected to bring in $30.365 million, an increase of $1.8 million, while sales and use taxes will generate $19.28 million, a decrease of $719,000. Also showing a decrease were licenses and permit, dipping by $561,000. Reimbursement revenues, a budget category not included in the 2008 budget totaled nearly $1.7 million while Fines & Forfeitures totaled $4.671 million.

County Administrator Theron Gay said priority in preparing the budget was given to maintaining current operations, minimum increases in staffing to help meet demands caused by growth and mandates, a 2.5 percent cost of living adjustment (COLA) for county employees and the state-mandated COLA for Constitutional officers, according to the county website.

Commissioners will consider several new staff positions that are primarily part-time, though most of those will be paid out of funding categories that will not affect the General Fund. Some of those include a part-time position (500 hours/year) for the Record Retention Center, three part-time records deputy clerks for State Court, six part-time firefighters, four additional 911 dispatchers and a student intern for the GIS Dept.

Commissioners in 2007 approved a one mill increase for residents, same as they had done in 2006. The 2007 millage rate for unincorporated residents increased from 6.15 to 7.15 mills while residents of the county’s incorporated areas saw an increase from 6.74 to 7.76 mills.

The total county value in 2008 topped $4 billion for the first time at $4.054 billion, up from $3.811 billion in 2007.

Commissioners are expected to adopt the budget Sept. 23 at 5 p.m. at a meeting in the commission chambers.

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