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Adams County Board of Supervisors Meeting
from Staff Reports - NEWS
September 14, 2018 -

By John Mott Coffey


NATCHEZ, Miss. – The Adams County Board of Supervisors’ $30 million budget for the coming year calls for spending close to $1 million more than the past year, but it doesn’t include a tax increase thanks to extra cash the county has in reserve.


“If we didn’t have cash in the balance, the board would’ve had to raise the (tax) millage,” said Adams County Administrator Joe Murray.


County supervisors on Friday approved a $29.7 million budget for funding Adams County’s governmental operations for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1. That’s about $840,000 more than the budgeted expenditures of the past 12 months.


Most of the spending increase is due to expenses related to improving county roads and buildings and stabilizing land threatened by erosion, according to Murray.


About $560,000 of the spending increase is for so-called Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) projects that are largely federally funded but require a county match. There are about 13 Adams County EWP projects, including the stabilization of Scotland Drive in the Elgin residential area, said board President Calvin Butler.


Another $265,000 budget increase is attributed to the annual installment of repaying a $3 million loan the board received through a bond issue for structural and road improvements. Some of the money was for an elevator installed in the county jail and for putting new blacktop on several county roads and streets.


To help balance the new budget, the board tapped into savings that amounts to about $1.2 million. That reserve fund will dwindle down next year to an estimated $400,000, Murray said.


For debt-service payments in the coming fiscal year, county supervisors budgeted $2.6 million. The board next year is expected to fully repay other loans it got from the past. The amounts previously allocated to satisfy those debts could be used to replenish the reserve fund or for other purposes.


The board is also having to pay about $90,000 more than last year for the county’s garbage pickup service. Supervisors earlier this summer contracted a new waste company – Metro Service Group of New Orleans – to replace Waste Pro for collecting residential garbage. Metro is charging more per household for pickup service, but no rate increase is being passed onto county residents who pay a monthly fee. Also, the county board is closing two yard-rubbish dumps and has to pay more to have such trash hauled away elsewhere, Murray said.


With the value of private properties going down, the Adams County board didn’t have as much property tax revenues to spend as before – about a $241,000 annual reduction. However, supervisors had revenue boosts from two primary sources: nearly $512,000 in federal EWP grants and $260,800 that von Drehle Corporation gives Adams County in lieu of property taxes it’s exempt from paying as an inducement to locate its paper-making plant here.


There are no across-the-board pay raises for the county’s 230 or employees, Butler said. They did receive salary hikes last year. | © 2014 | All Rights Reserved
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