Board of Commissioners Approve 2012 Budget With No Millage Increase
This is the third consecutive budget to be adopted with reduced expenditures for the county.
After budget discussions during the morning work session, the Board of Commissioners returned Tuesday for the afternoon meeting and unanimously adopted the fiscal year 2012 budget for the county.
Finance Director Tabitha Pollard reported to commissioners that the budget for 2012 will be $2.2 million less than last year.
County Administrator Michael Jones said the county had received $6.6 million less in property taxes over the past three years and was reducing the budget for the third year in a row.
Jones noted that with budget reductions, some repairs, especially on roads, would have to be delayed again. "We will eventually have to address those issues," he said.
Commissioner Todd Pownall asked if money was in the budget to finish the final coating of subdivision streets that have been taken over by the county.
Transportation Director Scott Greene responded that funds would be lower in 2012 than last year.
Jones said the county continues to go after bonds that had been established to pay for subdivision streets where the developer had failed.
Although the county has collected from some of the bonds, the amount is small compared to the costs to finish out the streets, according to Jones.
In other action, the commissioners voted unanimously to keep the county millage rates the same as last year.
Paulding County Schools Superintendent Cliff Cole recommended continuation of the same millage rate for operating expenses as last year. That school millage rate is 18.909.
The board unanimously approved the recommendation by Cole.
Cole also recommended and the board approved a reduction of the bond millage rate to zero. The district had stated last year that the bond millage rate would be reduced if voters passed a Special Local Option Sales Tax for the district.
The other millage rate approved by the board was 0.25 mills for the state. That is the same millage rate as last year but it will be reduced to zero over the next four years due to a new state law.
The board also adopted a resolution authorizing the tax commissioner to retain a 2.5-percent fee for collecting the school tax.
Commissioners Receive Updates
During the morning work session, commissioners received updates from E-911 and Animal Control.
Call volumes to 911 are up about 40 percent over the same time last year.
The county is also looking into a new countywide radio system that will enable all departments to communicate with each other, especially during periods of emergencies.
A vendor should be selected by September or October and the system could be in place in about a year.
Animal control is also experiencing an increase—that in the number of animals being brought to the shelter. That number doubled in the first seven months of this year over a comparable period from last year.
There has been an outpouring of support from the community in terms of volunteer time and contributions, with over $13,000 contributed for the neutering program.
Groundbreaking Held After Morning Meeting
After the morning work session ended, the board attended a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Paulding film studio off Bill Carruth Parkway.
Chairman David Austin and Commissioner Tommie Graham spoke of the positive economic impact the new studio could have on the county.
Austin said the state has realized an economic impact of about $1.4 billion during the past two years from the film industry shooting movies in Georgia.
Graham talked of jobs being created when movies are filmed in the area and gave as example a recent filming in Hiram that resulted in 200 jobs.
"We are building a future with this new studio," Graham said.
Visit Dallas-Hiram Patch Wednesday morning for more coverage of Tuesday’s groundbreaking.