Tough budget decisions await county commission

Tough budget decisions await county commission

Posted: Tuesday, May 3, 2011 10:47 pm
By: Chris Menees, Staff Reporter

By CHRIS MENEES
Staff Reporter
Budget hearings should begin in mid-May as county officials face the tough task of devising a budget for 2011-12.
Obion County Budget Committee chairman Dan-ny Jowers told committee members at their session Monday morning that budget hearings will start around May 18 or the following week.
He said the process will start with non-profit agencies, which have been asked to send in requests, and he said the county’s department heads have been asked to have their budgets ready and to make cuts wherever possible. They have also been asked to examine their discretionary funds.
“There are going to be some tough decisions this year,” Jowers told fellow county commissioners.
In a budget-related matter, the budget committee voted during its session to present to the full Obion County Commission a resolution to adopt a continuing budget and tax rate for the fiscal year beginning July 1 and to authorize the issuance of tax anticipation notes for the county.
Jowers explained the county will likely not have a budget in place by July 1 as required by state law. In the meantime, the proposed resolution puts spending levels at those of the previous fiscal year.
The county commission will meet at 9 a.m. May 16 in the circuit courtroom at the courthouse for its May session.
In other action during Monday’s meeting, which was opened with prayer led by commissioner Dwayne Hensley in the chancery courtroom at the courthouse, the budget committee:
• Voted to put a proposed contract for the leasing of farmland around Everett-Stewart Regional Airport before the full county commission at its May meeting.
Tim Smith, director of the University of Tennessee Extension Service in Obion County, said bids will be taken in the fall for the leasing of the county-owned farmland around the airport.
• Received information on early retirement incentives for the Obion County Board of Education from Obion County Director of Schools David Huss. (See related school board story, Page 1.)
• Approved presenting to the county commission the 2009 Obion County taxes to be released, as requested by county trustee Lori Seals.
• Approved a line item transfer of $1,728 for the cost of termite treatment for the Extension Service office.
• OK’d presenting a resolution to amend the County General Fund to the full commission. The $6,815 amendment is for the cost of computer equipment for the trustee’s office as an emergency purchase.
• Voted to recommend to the county commission a resolution to authorize an application for a litter and trash collecting grant for fiscal year 2011-12.
• Approved placing on the full commission’s agenda information concerning a grant available through Inspection Solutions. The one-time $56,550 educational grant — which does not require any matching funds — would provide building code training.
• OK’d the submission of additional paperwork as required by the state for a capital outlay note approved March 21 by the county commission.
• Voted to place the Indigent Care Trust Fund’s financial report on the full commission’s agenda.
• Approved putting a proposed Three-Star program plan for Obion County on the agenda for the county commission meeting. The plan includes an updated strategic plan, adding airport and road improvements as well as emergency protection and healthcare updates.
• Approved in-house budget transfers for the sheriff’s department and General Sessions Court.
• Voted to place the Delinquent Tax Commit-tee’s report on the county commission’s agenda.
• Approved placing a surety bond for Obion County Highway Superintendent Gary Lofton on the full commission agenda.
• Voted to place on the county commission agenda a list of notary public applications and appointments to several boards.
Budget committee member Sam Sinclair Jr. was absent from Monday’s 40-minute long meeting.
Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by e-mail at cmenees@ucmessenger.com.
Published in The Messenger 5.3.11

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