BOC Votes Down Millage Increase Proposal
The board decided against changes to the chairman's M&O budget, which has yet to be approved. A fiscal year 2013 budget could be approved in August.
The Paulding County Board of Commissioners voted 3-2 against a proposal made by Commissioner Tommie Graham to amend Chairman David Austin’s maintenance and operation budget for fiscal year 2013.
The proposal, made by Graham during the board's work session Tuesday morning, called for reducing funding for the proposed reservoir from $500,000 to $400,000 and putting $350,000 into the non-departmental fund for the paving of roads in five subdivisions. Graham's proposal also included a millage rate of 8.364 mills, which he said would generate the same revenue as in fiscal year 2012. The county's current rate is 7.6 mills.
Commissioner Todd Pownall said he wanted more discussion on the budget, preferably in the form of work session, before the board's final vote in August.
"I feel like last year we did and this year we haven't," he said.
Chairman David Austin said he doesn't take the budget lightly.
"I look at how people feel about taxes," he said. "I look at services provided. I look at employees."
A second proposal by Graham to increase the fire tax from 2.2 percent to 3.1 percent passed by a vote of 3-2. When the fire tax was instituted it generated about $4 million in revenue. Now, Graham said it only brings in $2 million in revenue to the county.
In May, Matthew Chambers, chairman of the Paulding County Fire/Rescue Advisory Board, told the board that the fire tax millage rate would need to be increased in order to pay the bills due to a continuing decrease in property taxes, which have fallen 43 percent. The fire tax is necessary to staff new fire stations that are planned in the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.
Commissioners are expected to approve the FY 2013 budget in August.
In other business, the board voted to lease the third floor of the historic Paulding County Courthouse to the Cobb County School District for the Paulding and Cobb Adult Education Center. The center serves anyone age 16 and older who is not enrolled in a high school program. The program, which currently is housed at Chattahoochee Technical College's Paulding campus, served 120 people last year.
"They see this as a great opportunity for Paulding County," said Jayson Phillips, the county's attorney.
The school district will pay $1,600 a month in rent, which will cover the cost of utilities.
In other action, the board:
- Voted to amend the county's ordinance regarding emergency authority to expand the time for initial emergency declaration from three to 30 days and to require anyone going into an emergency zone for repair or service work to register with the Community Development Department;
- Approved an amendment to the county's animal control ordinance making it a misdemeanor violation for someone to adopt a pet and fail to have it spayed or neutered and inoculated for rabies;
- Approved a $53,590 contract with Universal Engineering Sciences for construction material testing for the Seven Hills Parkway Extension Project;
- Reappointed Jackie Bates to the Paulding County Hospital Authority;
- Appointed Robin Tumlin to fill the unexpired term of Maria Mirolli on the Paulding County Library Board of Trustees;
- And declared the Paulding County Sheriff's Office's K-9 Hondo as surplus upon retirement and approved his adoption by Christopher Kilgore.