Stephens Co. Commission To Hold Budget Meeting Today

Stephens County Commissioners are scheduled to continue discussions of the county’s proposed Fiscal Year 2015 budget today.

The county commission is scheduled to meet today at 8:30 a.m. at the Kimsey Environmental Center in Eastanollee.

County Commissioners called for the meeting after receiving the initial proposed budget last month.

That budget was built based on a 3.19 mill increase in the millage rate, going from 11.32 to 14.51, based on the majority opinion of the commission at a May budget retreat.

However, commissioners called for another meeting to take another look at the budget to see if that millage increase could be reduced.

When introducing the proposed budget, County Administrator Phyllis Ayers said that in order to fund the proposed Fiscal Year 2015 budget as it sits right now would require a 1.93 mill increase.

She said that would fund the expenditures proposed in the presented Fiscal Year 2015 budget, including four new Sheriff’s Office deputies, a $130,000 increase in funding to the Stephens County Development Authority, a one percent cost of living increase for employees, and replacement of a number of computers because Windows XP is no longer being supported.

Ayers said that after the 1.93 mills needed for the budget, just over one mill of the 3.19 mill proposal would provide funding to try to avoid a potential budget shortfall and millage rate increase in Fiscal Year 2016.

Finally, Ayers said the 3.19 mill proposal also includes one fifth of a mill that would go back into fund balance in an effort to rebuild the county’s undesignated fund balance, which has been used to cover budget shortfalls in recent fiscal years.

The county is scheduled to hold public hearings and vote to adopt the budget later this month.