By CARL SMITH
The Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors adopted a $30-plus million budget Thursday for the upcoming fiscal year without raising county millage rates.
The budget increases county tax revenues by .31 percent from new growth of all classes of property and increases the budget by $55,761.
County Administrator Don Posey said county growth was well below normal.
“I’d be willing to bet my next paycheck it’s the lowest growth I’ve seen in my years here,” he said.
The budget calls a general county fund of $10,629,268, an increase of almost $200,000 from last year. The board of supervisors, buildings and grounds, and Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Office and jail are allotted the largest amounts of money in the budget — $6.6 million.
Other funds dropped nearly $6 million to $20,157,596 for the year, mainly due to the completion of OCH and county educational building projects.
When general county funds and other funds are combined, the total — $30,786,864 — represents a 17.52 percent drop from last year’s combination.
The new budget is lower because board President Marvell Howard said it was developed using cuts applied to the previous budget.
“I think we have a budget in place that will allow us to continue to offer quality services to our citizens. I’m real proud of us because we were able to cut the budget and still be able to offer the same level of services,” he said.
Before passage of the budget, the board went into executive session to discuss raising its financial allotment to Oktibbeha-Starkville Emergency Response Volunteer Services. The board voted 3-2 — District 2 Supervisors Orlando Trainer and District 5 Supervisor John Young cast the two nay votes — to double its budget from $3,000 to $6,000.
OSERVS Chairperson Carol Moss Read said the increase represents tangible support from supervisors.
“We are most appreciative. (Supervisors) are putting their money where their mouths are,” she said. “We feel like we’re supporting our neighbors. They are literally the people we see at the grocery store.”
With the increased funding, Read said OSERVS will have more money to provide gift cards to emergency victims, provide mannequins for CPR training and pay for the day-to-day operation of the group.