$60 million county budget gets OK

Thu, 09/25/2008 - 3:43pm
By: Ben Nelms

It only took a few minutes of discussion Sept. 23 for the Coweta County Commissioners to unanimously adopt the county’s 2009 General Fund budget totaling $60.5 million. The discussion was the last of several that had been held on the budget in recent weeks.

The $60.5 million General Fund budget will take effect beginning in October. The increase of approximately $900,000 in the budget represents an increase of just over 1 percent.

“We had lots of personnel requests asking for support that we didn’t honor this year,” said County Administrator Theron Gay. “We cut it to the bone so most didn’t get supported.”

The few new staff positions that were approved were 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.

Gay said at earlier public hearings that a 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.

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.

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.

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