Supervisors hold public hearing on budget tonight


Citing budget woes, the Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing today to discuss how best to address what some members say are major concerns.
Oktibbeha County, which receives a large portion of taxes paid by residents of the City of Starkville, has a record of raising taxes every year, but supervisors won’t say whether or not they will during this budget season.
“Anything is possible for right now,” Board President Marvell Howard has said, referring to what the board decides.
The meeting will be at 6 p.m. on the second floor of the Oktibbeha County Courthouse on Main Street.
Howard has requested visual aid assistance from the Golden Triangle Planning and Development District for the hearing.
Some of the county’s budget complications include a cut in its gas severance tax by around $300,000.
Additionally, the state has cut back on Oktibbeha County’s homestead reimbursement, giving the county only 80 percent of its original $401,750.
And due to low interest rates, OC staff has not purchased a certificate of deposit (CD) since September 2007.
During the board’s last meeting, District 4 Supervisor Daniel Jackson suggested a hiring freeze, which the City of Starkville mandated during its previous budget season as part of efforts to fill a budget gap of nearly $1 million.
“I think we’re going to have to start doing more with less and moving some people around when employees retire or get another job,” Jackson said, directing county agents to determine which empty positions could not sustain a hiring freeze.
Both the city and the county must adopt their annual budgets on September 15.