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Lowndes officials busy with budget preparations


Kristin Mamrack



The budgeting process for Lowndes County is underway, with the Board of Supervisors scheduled to adopt a new budget Sept. 14. 


County Administrator Ralph Billingsley currently is analyzing funding requests from county department heads. 


"Normally, (Chief Financial Officer) Dave Basinger and I sit down and all the department heads give us what they request for the upcoming year," he explained, noting Basinger is recovering from medical issues and he is handling the budget alone this year. "Dave and I go through all the different requests and analyze (them). We kind of formalize what we think (the budget) ought to be. Then, we meet with the department heads and go over it with them. We formalize it again and meet with the supervisors and go over where we are, from a revenue standpoint, expenditures, projections and so forth. Then, it usually changes." 


A public hearing on a proposed budget will be held, during the Board of Supervisors meeting, Sept. 14, before the supervisors vote on adopting the budget. 


"Anybody that wants to address the board can bring their ideas to the board," Billingsley said of the hearing, which is open to all residents.  


"It's their ultimate call, not mine," he added of the budget and the supervisors, who must adopt a county budget and "set the minutes" to reflect they have done so by Sept. 15, according to state law.  


The supervisors then can amend the budget, with a majority vote, any time they desire, during the fiscal year. 


"We've communicated with people prior and most are pretty satisfied they have a fair hearing on what they request," Billingsley said, referring to department heads in years past, who have submitted funding requests to him and Basinger.




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