Budget Talks

Starting Monday and continuing all week long, commissioners are holding public work sessions with the different department heads, trying to establish a gross budget plan for the next fiscal year.

On Monday, commissioners met with Patsy Baggett with the Child Welfare Board, and heard her proposal about the finances she is requesting.

The same process will be repeated with all the other departments in the county.

Judge Gossom said he anticipates most budget proposals will be similar to last years, except for the Sheriff's Office.

Judge Gossom said Sheriff David Duke has requested an increase in personnel for the jail, as well as the patrol and records divisions.

As is often the case, however, Gossom said there might not be enough money to spread around.

"If we hold the tax rate where we are, which is what I hear out of a lot of people, then we're probably not going to be able to do everything [Sheriff Duke] or anybody else wants," explained Gossom.

Gossom also said thanks to a slight increase in the property tax values in the county, commissioners might even be able to reduce the tax rate by half a cent.

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