Dawson County Courthouse Georgia

Proposed FY2020 Dawson County budget presented at work session

BY DENISE RAY
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Dawson County Board of Commissioners Chairman Billy Thurmond presented the proposed FY2020 budget at the October 4 work session.

Thurmond had goals, he said, for the budget process; one of which was to prepare a “realistic, revenue-based budget.” Another was to ensure that the budget “conforms to the reduced millage rate from 8.138 to 8.089.” He also wanted to provide the same or improved level of funding for all departments, thus improving “the level of service” and giving each agency and department “the opportunity to present its requests to the full board during public hearings.”

Requests were made from various departments to the tune of more than $31 million; Thurmond’s proposed 2020 budget totals $29.9 million.

The increase, according to Thurmond comes from a projected revenue increase of 10.26 percent or $2.8 million, stemming largely from an increase in fund balance reserves and projected increases in property taxes (despite a lower millage rate), and local option sales tax (LOST) collection.

The largest expenditure is in the Sheriff’s Office with $8.3 million. Other large increases were shown in the public safety ($5.5 million) and general government at $5.4 million.

Both Public Safety and the Sheriff’s Office had significant increases over their 2019 budgets with $717,174 and $788,039 respectively.

Thurmond’s proposed budget also includes $250,000 for attorney fees as the county no longer has in-house legal representation.

A third and final public hearing of the budget will be October17, also the tentative date for commissioners to vote on it. The 2019 budget was just over $27 million.

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