The Upson County Board of Commissioners began work on the 2013 budget last week and in a matter of three days cut roughly $200,000 from what had been requested. The board is looking at a general fund close to, if not the same as 2012, which was $13.7 million and plans to propose the budget to the public at the October 23 meeting.
Commission Chairman Maurice Raines noted that the majority of the departments stayed the same or went down in the amount they requested. He continued that many of the requests for increases involved salary increases, which the board has rejected at this time. He praised the department heads for their hard work in preparing their requests for meeting the July deadline.
“The department heads did a great job of staying within the parameters of the budget,” said Raines. “The budget report cards that we began using a few years back have really paid off.”
One of the major cuts came from a request from the Industrial Development Authority for $150,000 to help with the proposed gas line for the industrial park. During discussion Raines told the board that he had brought up to the IDA board using reserve funds that the IDA has to cover the costs and will be following up with that request.
In economic times such as these, the Commissioners are continually trying to find ways to save money, which has led them to the consideration of a vehicle policy. Chairman Raines stated that having such a policy will help to make sure no employee is using their county vehicle for personal gain and will help to save the county money.
Another issue that has been brought to the board’s attention is that several local hotels are not currently paying their share of the sales tax. The board has charged County Attorney Ed Trice to look into the matter.
All in all, Chairman Raines is proud of how the board has worked on the budget for the last week.
“The board has worked very hard and I want to commend them for their efforts, said Raines. “I am very proud that, along with all the hard work, this is the fourth straight year we should have the budget approved before the end of the year.”