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County supervisors to hold budget talks

September 12, 2012

By NATHAN GREGORY
citybeat@starkvilledailynews.com

The Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors has set a special hearing to discuss and consider approval of the proposed 2012-13 fiscal year budget 10 a.m. Friday at the Oktibbeha County Courthouse.

A draft of the proposed budget was not made available as of press time Wednesday, making it impossible to determine whether or not there is a millage increase or tax increase from the 2011-12 budget, but District 2 Supervisor Orlando Trainer said it has been a goal of the board not to have one.

“The goal of the board was to keep from having to raise millage,” Trainer said. “That was an overwhelming sentiment of the board.”

Though the millage is going to be the same, Trainer said, a mill will bring in more money for this budget than the previous one.

In the 2011-12 budget, Oktibbeha County Fire Services had a budget of $954,390, a 39.55 percent increase from the $683,900 budgeted for the department in 2010-11.

Trainer said the increase was budgeted for the department to purchase a new round of trucks and said such an increase will not repeat itself in this budget.

The road budget for 2011-12, $2,852,750, was a .15 percent increase from the $2,848,445 set aside in 2010-11.

Trainer said more funding will likely be shifted into the county’s road department in an effort to make faster progress on its four-year improvement plan.

He said in the future it will be necessary to raise millage slightly in order to consistently and continuously implement the plan and bring economic development into the county.

“We want to continue to build roads and repair roads because we’re so far behind. Hospital millage didn’t take as many mills due to the fact of new growth. (Some funding) could shift into roads,” Trainer said. “With the cost of different things in the road department, you need to keep millage consistent and add to it if you want to stay in the game. You’ll never catch up, but you can at least try to make some progress.”

Trainer also said some adjustments could be made to the budget for Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Department to help with upgrades.

In the 2011-12 budget, OCSD had $2,021,849, a 4.57 percent increase from $1,933,516 in 2010-11.

“We want to put in a little extra money in order to upgrade their fleet of cars. This is not a budget buster because of how much we would get for old cars (factoring into) how much new cars would cost,” Trainer said. “It would be to the county’s advantage to put extra funds aside for that maneuver.”

Trainer said the board held the line on most line items as well as grant funding and there will be no notable changes for them.

“Where people had requests, we looked at each line item. If (an increase) could have been avoided, we decided to hold the line on it,” he said.

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