The Barrow County Board of Commissioners will meet Tuesday, September 23 at 7 p.m. to vote on the proposed 2009 budget.
The economic downturn has had a significant impact on next year's budget.
Among the items left unfunded for next year are $1.8 million in capital purchases and 45 requested positions including additional staff for the county’s ladder truck, additional courthouse security personnel and additional staff for the Superior Court. The county has also eliminated all non-required travel and training for the upcoming fiscal year.
Chief Administrator Keith Lee said the cuts were necessary due to decreased county revenues.
For 2008, the county has experienced a 62 percent decline in new housing permits, a ten percent decline in rezones and a 17 percent decline in revenues from fees related to legal instruments such as deeds.
To help offset some of the revenue reduction, the county will be considering a stormwater utility fee of $20 per household and a monthly 911 charge of $1.50 on wireless and Voice-Over –Internet-Provider (VOIP) bills.
Additionally, 13 vacant positions will be left unfilled and county employees will be limited to a 2.5 percent pay increase in the upcoming year.
In January, one full time position in leisure services, a part-time position at the senior center and a part time position in the finance department will be eliminated. The reductions and unfilled jobs will reduce the ratio of employees to residents from 8.07 employees per every 1,000 residents in 2008 to 7.46 employees per 1,000 residents in 2009.
Lee said the millage rate for the upcoming year will remain unchanged. The county has proposed a rate of 7.182 mils for Winder residents and 9.338 mils for residents outside the city limits.
The total recommended budget for 2009 is $37.6 million or a .5 percent increase over 2008. The 2009 budget includes $26.7 million in salaries and benefits, $7.2 million in operating expenses, $944,000 in capital expenses and $2.5 million in other expenses.
A public hearing on the budget was held Thursday, September 18.
09/23/08 at 08:34 PM
Our property was up for rezoning tonight. We are the horse stable that was being opposed by neighbors, Karen and Kenny Post.
Even though the zoning board recommended rezoning to AG; even though planning and zoning recommended the rezoning to AG; the board of commissioners voted to deny the rezoning.
The Post had an attorney stand up and oppose the rezoning. Their attorney, John Stells,told lie after lie, with no reference to any zoning ordinance or regulation. I WAS NOT GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO REBUT THEIR LIES. I had to sit there and listen to it, and say nothing. This process in itself is unconstitutional! If someone is going to go before a public hearing speak lies, one should be given the opportunity to rebut the lies.
Thank goodness, I knew to file an "Unconstitutional Objection" before it went before the commissioners. This means that I now have to file with the courts and have a judge rule on the rezoning.
Since there was NO LEGAL REASON to deny the rezoning, I don't anticipate the judge ruling against me. His ruling will be based on legal facts and precedence, not fiction.
To those who support us, please call your commissioner and let your voice be heard.