Supes approve $6.2M budget without tax hike
Wednesday, August 21, 2013 1:00 AM
A proposed $6.2 million county budget for fiscal 2014 was approved Monday by the Neshoba County Board of Supervisors without a tax increase.
A hearing for public comment on the proposed budget will be at 10 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 9 in the supervisors' board room.
Also on Monday, supervisors discussed a projected $80,000 increase in employee health insurance, looking at ways to cut costs including adding a bridge/gap policy, which would help pay part of a higher deductible, but no final action was taken.
"Next Monday is the drop dead day, both literally and figuratively," County Administrator Benjie Coats told supervisors of the insurance decision.
Supervisors accepted the budgets of both the Nehsoba and Union public school district, neither asking for a millage increase.
The Neshoba School District is seeking $3,213,681 from the county, up from the $3,163,593 requested for the previous year. The increased in assessed value of the district is expected to generate the additional monies.
Union School District is seeking $366,835 from the county, up from the $330,258 the previous year, with the additional monies coming from the increased assessed value of the district as well.
Supervisors targeted an additional $53,591 in the general fund budget to help fund the projected increase.
Most county department's budgets were held to the same levels as 2013, except for an 1 1/2 percent increase in the county's share of employees' state retirement.
Under the proposed 2014 budget, the sheriff's department would see an additional $67,195, to fund, among other things, two new patrol cars.
The tax office would see an additional $46,143 to fund rising postage costs associated with the sanitation department, tag notices and tax bills, as well as employee training for state certification purposes among other things.
An increase in the number of days cases are hear in various courts helped spark increases in those areas.
Chancery Court will see an $18,607 increase; Juvenile Court, $60,842 and Circuit Court, $25,147, which includes additional money to help fund a change of venue case later this year.
An increase in cases heard in Juvenile Court is particularly expected.
"That trend is tinking upward fast and you really don't have any say so or control over it," Coats said.
The county jail would see an additional $75,785 in the new year to house prisoners and fund added expenses for food, repairs and utilities.
With the opening of the new Emergency Operations Center in 2014, supervisors opted to move $203,723 from of the emergency management expenditures in the general fund to the county-wide E-911 service fund budget.
Supervisors did not discuss any of the requests by department heads for salary increases for employees.
Since 2009, supervisors have cut most county departments by 13 percent in an effort to ward off a tax increase.
In addition, 15 jobs left vacate by resignations and/or retirements have not been filled.
That includes 10 in the county road department, one in Justice Court, one in the tax office and three fulltime positions at the coliseum, including the director.