Liberty County officials are wading through reams of documents, holding meetings and consulting computers in an effort to trim budget requests of almost $38 million down to a draft proposal that can be available to the public on June 4.
The county commission plans to hold a public hearing on the budget at their regular meeting June 4 and to adopt it at the midmonth meeting on June 20.
The almost $38 million requested by county departments and constitutional officers in the fiscal year 2020 budget would represent an increase of $7.7 million over the current FY 2019 budget. Officials and departments asked for $4.1 million in capital items, some of which were designated as urgent. Some requests were for expenditures that could be covered by Special Local Option Sales Tax funds, like a ladder truck for fire protection expected to cost $1.2 million.
Urgent requests for vehicles for the sheriff’s department, $670,000, and a security control panel for the jail, $81,000, could be funded by current or future SPLOST. Urgent improvements at the county’s firing range would cost $10,000 and would not be eligible for SPLOST.
Sidewalks for the Liberty Independent Troop Park were designated as urgent and would cost around $20,000. This project could be covered by SPLOST.
The Board of Commissioners office is asking for an increase of $46,000 to $207,000 and the budget request for the chairman is up to $59,000, a hike of $14,700. The commissioners’ office trimmed their administration budget request by $16,000, down to $628,000.
Commissioners, administrator Joey Brown and finance chief Kim McGlothin heard presentations of budget requests last week and reviewed the information at a 6-hour session last Friday. Another budget workshop was planned for Tuesday and an additional meeting may be necessary.
The commission will advertise the availability of the proposed budget in the Coastal Courier as well as the proposed adoption on June 20.
Parker can be contacted by email at email@example.com.