BONIFAY - The Holmes County Board of County Commissioners began refining the budget for the new fiscal year when they met Aug. 5.
"As you know, last week we set our tentative millage rate at last year's rate, which was 9.6605," said Chair Monty Merchant.
Merchant inquired how much of the budget was cut so far and was informed the amount was $110,522 to reach current millage. Commissioner Kenneth Williams inquired how much of a cut was needed to reach the roll back rate of 9.4912, and he was informed $177,259.
Suggestions for cuts after a line by line budget review include: reducing the janitorial contract from last year's amount of $36,000 to $30,000; cutting the Baker Act budget from $25,000 to $15,000; reducing funds earmarked for contracting with an animal control agency from $80,000 to $60,000; and cutting miscellaneous items by$39,000.
In other action, the board:
· Approved names submitted to serve on the seven person emergency management committee
· Scheduled a meeting, at 9 a.m., Nov. 3, with swearing in ceremonies at 5 p.m. on Nov. 18 for those election in the general election.
· Tabled discussion on the District 2 "borrow pit" after Merchant updated the board. The board is interested in possibly purchasing 40 acres of clear-cut land from a business named Continental to be used as a dirt pit. At the last discussion concerning the pit, the board approved a decision to get a soil sample, which came back showing the materials to be suitable for county use. Merchant informed the board the first price given for the land was $104,000; the county then countered with $92,000, and the counter-offer and current offer is 98,000, which the board is taking into consideration for possible action at the next meeting.
· Approved Holmes County Extension Director Shep Eubanks' request to increase Holmes County Office Secretary Wendy Smith's work hours from 35 to 40 hours a week, explaining that children attending 4-H nearly quadrupling in size. He said she is needing additional time to meet all the state requirements in having the substantial increase in children, which includes additional state and federal paper work. Eubanks quoted the additional expenses to be $3,100 per year.
· Approved Emergency Medical Services Director Greg Barton's request to accept a van from Tri-County Community Council to be used by Holmes County EMS for non-emergency transport.