Board of Supervisors approves county budget

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, September 11, 2019

The Pearl River County Board of Supervisors approved the 2019 to 2020 county budget at a budget hearing Tuesday.

There are no county wide millage increases; the rate remains at 54.82. There are only minimal millage increases for the Pearl River County School District and Lamar County School District, said County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin, which are done at the request of the schools.

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The fire district millage will remain the same in 2020.

Total expenditures for the 2019-2020 fiscal year are budgeted at $34.3 million. Total revenue, combined with the beginning balance, is expected to total $41.2 million.

The balance fund at the beginning of the fiscal year is $13.3 million and the county is expected to earn $27.8 million in revenue. The county is projected to have a cash balance of $6.8 million at the end of the fiscal year.

The county expects to raise $17 million by the tax levy and $318,000 raised in ad valorem taxes other than the tax levy. The county expects $10,000 in revenue from federal sources, $1.1 million in state grants and $1.4 million in state shared revenue.

Expenditures are expected to include $13.3 million for general government, which includes $1.2 million for the Board of Supervisors, $748,000 for the tax collector and $607,000 for the Chancery Clerk. Circuit Clerk expenses are expected to be $540,000.

There is $9.4 million budgeted for public works, which includes $180,000 for sanitation and $18,000 for the Poplarville airport. Both sanitation and the airport are funded through the general fund.

There is $8.2 million set aside for public safety, which includes the $460,000 budgeted for E911 Dispatch. The Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department and the county jail are included in public safety.

Pearl River County Sheriff David Allison requested the Board move $50,000 from the county jail’s $3.1 million budget to the $2.9 million budget for his department’s administration. The Board approved the request.

Allison said the jail’s population has been down for the past six months, so after meeting with jail staff, Allison determined the department was able to eliminate two correction officer positions.

The money saved from the elimination of those positions will be used to give raises to all sheriff department and county jail staff, Allison said. That is why he said he requested the transfer of jail funds. Allison previously requested a budget increase from the Board in the upcoming fiscal year to give Sheriff’s Department employees a five percent pay increase, but the budget increase was not approved, and the pay increase the employees receive will be lower than five percent.

There is $1 million in interfund transactions.

There is $912,500 for health and welfare, $508,500 for culture and recreation.

The $290,000 set aside for economic development and assistance includes $150,000 for the economic development department, $60,000 for the planning department and $40,000 for the senior center.

There is $274,500 budgeted in debt service, $252,500 for conservation of natural resources, and $177,500 for education.

The next Board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday September 18 at 9 a.m.