The budget committee of the DeKalb County Commission put the finishing touches on the proposed budgets for all departments Monday night in preparation for approval by the commission later this month.
The total budget for all departments comes to $33-million 181-thousand 306 dollars.
The current property tax rate is $1.70 per $100 of assessed value. The new certified rate after reappraisal or the latest Current Value Update (CVU) is $1.4599 but the commission plans to round it off to $1.46 after a public hearing.
The $1.46 cent tax rate will generate about the same amount of local tax dollars as the $1.70 prior to the CVU. Each cent of the tax rate generates $42-thousand 181 after a 5.25% delinquency rate is figured into the equation.
The proposed rate breaks down as follows:
County General- 55 cents (net estimated collection- $2-million 319-thousand 985)
General Purpose Schools- 49 cents (net estimated collection- $2-million- 066-thousand- 896)
Debt Service- 20 cents (net estimated collection- $843-thousand 631)
Highways/Public Works- 3 cents (net estimated collection $126-thousand 545)
Solid Waste Fund- 19 cents (net estimated collection $801-thousand 449)
Total Tax levy: $1.46 per $100 of assessed value. Total net estimated collection $6-million 158-thousand 506
County Mayor Mike Foster says the overall budget is similar to last year's with a few exceptions, including about a $600 pay raise for full time employees.
The sheriff will be authorized to use money from his drug fund to hire an investigator. This is money generated from drug cases, such as the sale of seized vehicles, etc. The sheriff will also get to hire another deputy and a correctional officer, and to pay for it, he has agreed to keep five more state prisoners, which will generate additional state reimbursement or board bill funds for housing state inmates.
Sheriff Ray says he has the minimum number of jailers required, but if a jailer has to be off from work, it creates comp time and overtime issues, which he wants to avoid. He says another jailer would ease the problem.
The highway department gets three cents of the property tax rate and County Mayor Mike Foster says because of the amount of money each cent of the tax rate generates, "He (Kenny Edge) will get $13,000 in extra money (for the road department) above what he has been getting. The budget committee has recommended that the county help him (Edge) to buy a front end loader for the rock crusher, which means that the (county) would borrow the money to do a seven year note on that purchase. He (Edge) would pay $13,000 on the note each year (from his budget) and the (county) would pay $20,000 a year. That would free up a little extra money in his budget so that he could do some more road paving work."
The highway department is primarily funded from state gasoline tax revenues, with the exception of the 3 cent property tax rate and a mineral severance tax.
Foster says work will proceed on the development of a new cell site at the landfill now that the state has issued a permit for the facility. "The county borrowed the money almost three years ago in anticipation of getting this (permit) and it took almost three years to get the permit approved by just going through the process. We are actually about to make the third payment on that even though we don't have the landfill cell up and running. They have been doing some work on it. They basically have the road cut in and to grade. They've got one of the berms ready to sow. Bids were taken on the 5th to bid out the process of doing the cell, which hopefully will serve the county for six or seven years. It will be paid off in three more years. That's one of the things we try to do is for ever how long the life of a project is, we want to be sure it's paid off, so that we're not paying long term debt for something that's already expired it's usefulness"
Total budgets for each department are as follows:
County General- $5-million 919-thousand 200
Highways- $2-million 131-thousand 630
Debt Service- $1-million 275-thousand 724
General Purpose Schools- $17-million 678-thousand 485
Central Cafeteria- $1-million 175-thousand 305
General Capital Projects- $483, 332
Local Purpose Fund- $2-million 154-thousand 885
Drug Control- $50, 315
Courthouse/Jail Maintenance- $61, 001
Solid Waste- $2-million 251-thousand 429
Total appropriations: $33-million 181-thousand 306
The beginning fund balance as of July 1st, 2008 was $10-million 21-thousand 030
The projected fund balance as of June 30th, 2009 is expected to be $7-million 922-thousand 632.
The county commission is expected to consider passage of the new budget on Monday, Agust 25th at 6:30 p.m. during the next regular meeting at the courthouse.