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Commission focuses on new budget

Commission focuses on new budget

Posted: Tuesday, April 20, 2010 9:05 pm
By: John Brannon, Staff Reporter

By JOHN BRANNON
Staff Reporter
Hearings begin this week for preparation of the Obion County budget for fiscal year 2010-11, which begins July 1.
Obion County Budget Committee chairman Danny Jowers said the new budget will be about $5 million less than the current budget of $51 million.
Jowers discussed the budget and upcoming hearings at a meeting of the Obion County Commission Monday at the Obion County Courthouse.
The first hearing is scheduled to convene at 9 a.m. Thursday at the courthouse. At that time, appropriations requests will be accepted from nonprofit organizations.
There will be three more such hearings in May, time and date to be announced.
“Where are we going to cut $5 million?” he said. “A lot of it has to do with various state and federal grants. Grants that were there last year won’t be in (the new) budget. We just don’t anticipate getting as many grants. Also, we are not drawing the interest on our investment money as we did before. In two years, we’re down about $1.1 million on interest money.
“Are we going to make drastic cuts right now? No. We’re not in that realm yet. I want to make sure people understand that we are not operating in the red.”
A budget, he said, is theory, a theory of income and expenditures. “And if we spent every penny we have budgeted this year and every penny we have budgeted for next year, then yes, we would be in the red. But we don’t do that,” he said. “‘What happens to money that’s not spent? It’s sent back to the county general fund. So we encourage the departments: ‘Do not be wasteful.’”
He said the budget committee will take a “hard look” at requests submitted by nonprofit organizations, particularly if appropriations are used more to pay salaries than to help people as they’re supposed to do. “Not picking on anyone,” he said. “But we are going to look at that for the first time in a long time.” Thus, this year’s budget will be a “real tight” one, he said. “We have never turned down anyone. Those days are gone.”
Published in The Messenger 4.21.10

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