Spalding County’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year is more than $82 million.
County Manager William Wilson Jr. said the budget of $82,527,915 is a 6.63 percent increase from the $77,398,923 fiscal year 2011 budget. The budget includes a 2 percent cost-of-living increase for employees, who have not had any increases since FY 2008, Wilson said.
To get a balanced budget, provide the employees with raises and not raise taxes, Wilson proposed using $399,903 from the undesignated fund balance and using $1 million in Local Option Sales Tax revenue reserves to make up the $1,399,903 difference between anticipated revenue and expenses.
Wilson said the LOST reserves are 2 percent of monthly LOST revenues that are set aside in a special account, and the account can only be used after a minimum of five years. He said the account was set up in the 1990s and has never been formally appropriated.
The budget also includes utilizing funds from the 2005 and 2008 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Taxes to pay for capital projects designated from those SPLOSTs including the long-awaited new senior center, city and county infrastructure projects and debt service from the 2008 SPLOST, due to the way it was structured.
The proposed budget also includes two new deputy positions for the Patrol Division of the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office and a full-time purchasing agent/staff accountant. One of the duties of the new purchasing agent, Wilson said, would be to look at uniformity and consolidation of county purchasing of equipment and services.
Some additional savings the county may consider, Wilson said, include cutting back hours at the county recycling centers. Wilson said this would save $66,000 per day of the week the recycling centers are closed. Wilson said he would check to see which days of the week are slowest.
That savings may be used to help fund the Griffin-Spalding Development Authority, which is currently having to operate on its own funds, Wilson said. The funding would assist with maintenance of the Development Authority properties, he said.
Other plans for the following year’s budget include restructuring the Fire Department with division chiefs instead of an assistant chief and a possible consolidation of county IT services. Wilson said IT consolidation will require a study to determine what hardware and software each department has, and how old it is.
The Spalding County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing on the budget at 5 p.m. June 6 in Room 108, 119 E. Solomon St., Griffin. Wilson said the first reading is scheduled for June 20, with a second reading June 23 at 5:45 p.m.