Commission approves FY 2017 budget of $11.3 million

Published 8:34 am Thursday, September 29, 2016

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By Fred Guarino

The Lowndes Signal
With Commissioner Robert Harris abstaining, the Lowndes County Commission approved an FY 2017 budget of more than $11 million in revenues and expenditures Monday night .
While the budget includes total revenues of $11,118,253.71 and expenses of $11,359.959.18, County Administrator Jackie Thomas pointed out the budget includes $241,705.47 brought forward for projects.
She also said the budget includes a one-time across the board pay increase of $750 for all employees and a reserve of $500,000 carried over.
Commissioner Harris questioned a $92,000 expense for 300 garbage service exempt customers, which will increase to 360 exemptions on Oct. 1.
Thomas said GE picks up part of the cost to the county. And Harris asked that SABIC be contacted about picking up the remainder.
Harris said he abstained on the budget because he felt the commission should be consistent across the board.
County Engineer David Butts reported that ADECA (Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs) Road paving projects are complete with small jobs remaining.
He said a federal aid paving project on Lowndes County Road 23 will be let for bids in November or December and Lowndes County Road 79 is set for a December bid letting.
He said RAMP (Rural Assistance Match Program) Projects including Blue Hill Road and Lowndes County Road 33 are set for bid letting in February. He said Lowndes County Roads 26 and 45 will be later in the year.
Under the consent agenda agenda, the commission unanimously approved:
*A $4,500 change order to include additional valves at the industrial park for a lift station.
*Approval of Chief Deputy Chris West to replace former Fort Deposit Police Chief Brandon Thomas on the E911 Board.
*An appropriation of $1,000 for the Collirene Volunteer Fire Department.
*An appropriation of the remainder of Commissioner Joseph Barganier’s discretionary funds to the Sandy Ridge Volunteer Fire Department.
The commission also agreed to change the date of the second Monday in October from Oct. 10 (Columbus Day) to Wednesday, Oct. 12 at 10 a.m.
William A. Hodge, director of operations for the Tuskegee University Cooperative Extension Program appeared before the commission to reintroduce Lowndes/Wilcox County Agent George Hunter, introduce new Lowndes/Wilcox County Agent Catrina Hoffman, who will handle foods and nutrition, and to recognizes Jessie Purifoy, secretary for the Lowndes/Wilcox County Extension Office, for 40 years of service.

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