Board of Supervisors considering several increases to budget

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Pearl River County Board of Supervisors met on Monday to discuss County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin's budget recommendation for 2017.  Photo by Julia Arenstam

The Pearl River County Board of Supervisors met on Monday to discuss County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin’s budget recommendation for 2017.
Photo by Julia Arenstam


Monday, County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin presented the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors with an updated general fund budget recommendation for the next fiscal year.
Lumpkin added around $50,000, on average, to the budgets in Chancery Clerk, Circuit Clerk, Chancery Court, Circuit Court, Juvenile Court, Lunacy Court and Justice Court. The added funding will go toward various expenses, including hiring new employees.
However, during the meeting the Board made some adjustments to Lumpkin’s budget recommendation.
The Board decided to allocate $3.2 million to the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department budget, an increase from last year’s budget of $3 million. Lumpkin originally budgeted $3.05 million to the department.
Sheriff David Allison originally requested about $3.3 million for next year in order to give officers a pay raise.
The Board also lowered the budget for the jail due to projected savings. Last year’s budget of $3.15 million, which Lumpkin recommended the same amount this year, was lowered to $3.05 million by the Board.
The Board also proposed an increase to the Pearl River County Library system’s budget of an additional $30,000 from last year’s budget of $222,000.
“It’s not just books, if you need to take a test, you go to the library and they’ll proctor it,” District IV Supervisor Farron Moeller said.
The Board also allocated an additional $10,000 to the Senior Center of South Pearl River County.
“I don’t care what people say, that is a very good thing for our investment,” Lumpkin said.
Darlene Adams, director of the senior center was present at Monday’s meeting and said the additional money would be used to maintain the building.
“If we can’t take care of our seniors, we all need to go home,” Board Vice President Hudson Holliday said.
The Board will hold a public hearing on Sept. 12 at 10 a.m. to discuss the proposed budget and tax levies for 2017.
According to a notice for the hearing, due to increased assessments, the county millage rate would have to be lowered to 51.28 to generate the same amount of revenue from ad valorem taxes as last year.
The current county millage rate is set at 55.62.
Lumpkin’s budget recommendations are based on estimated general fund revenue of $17 million from ad valorem taxes and other sources.
Lumpkin said that projected revenue would result from the county maintaining the 55.62 millage rate.
The Board will finalize next year’s millage rate at the Sept. 12 meeting.
In recent weeks, there has been no discussion by Board members concerning lowering the millage to compensate for the increase property assessment values.
The Board is considering holding an open meeting to discuss the budget with the community, hopefully before the budget is finalized, Lumpkin said.
“People want services, and it takes money to provide services,” Lumpkin said.
Details for that public meeting will be publicized when a date and location are decided.

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About Julia Arenstam

Staff Writer

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