Sumter County Board of Commissioners holds Called Meeting to discuss Fiscal Year 2021-22 Budget
AMERICUS – The Sumter County Board of Commissioners (BOC) held a special called meeting on Tuesday, June 8 at the Sumter County Courthouse to discuss the BOC’s Budget for the fiscal year of 2021-22. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the meeting was not opened to the public, but was held by way of Zoom conference call. All of the commissioners and staff members were present at the meeting.
The BOC had its first meeting about the proposed budget last Tuesday, June 1 and Board Chairman Mark Waddell stated that County Financial Director Janice Jarvis has made all of the necessary changes involving this proposed budget that were discussed at that meeting.
Waddell asked Jarvis if she wanted to go over any of those changes. Jarvis responded by saying that she would go over the salary of the proposed budget being that it is a public hearing. “The general fund budget has been balanced. We had our first work shop last week,” Jarvis told the BOC. Jarvis later told the Americus Times-Recorder that it is the BOC’s desire to use the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Fund to reimburse the salaries of the county’s first responders, which would in turn free up other funds to go back into the economy of Sumter County, thereby lowering the mileage rate by one mill. At the called meeting, Jarvis stated that the proposed budget has been decreased to $728,101.00, which is a 3.5 percent decrease from last year’s budget. Jarvis also stated to the BOC that the proposed budget includes the following agency funding allocations:
- Lake Blackshear Regional Library: $125,000.00
- Sumter County Department of Family and Children’s Services: $16,500.00
- Sumter County Health Department: $200,487.00
- Middle Flint Behavioral Health Center: $2,000.00
- Middle Flint Council on Aging: $2,500.00
- Sumter County Chamber of Commerce: $18,000.00
- Sumter County Payroll Development Authority: $20,000.00
- Sumter County Humane Society: $50,000.00
- One Sumter Economic Development Authority: $10,000.00
- Americus-Sumter County Airport: $35,716.00
Jarvis stated that the proposed budget includes a contingency of $300,000.00 and also includes $260,000.00, which is the first half of the amount requested by the Board of Tax Assessors (BOTA) to perform an in-house revaluation of property.
The proposed budget also includes a subsidy for emergency medical services.
Jarvis also added that the proposed budget includes funds for computer upgrades in various departments, which is a portion of the Phase II Technology Upgrade to change out and replace outdated hardware.
Board Chairman Waddell asked Jarvis if the automobile that the Board of Assessors has requested is slated to be a budget item or something separate. “It will come out of SPLOST. It will not be a budget item,” Jarvis replied. “We have gone back in and added interest and principle for various vehicles.” Jarvis added that she would have to make an adjustment should the BOC approve the vehicle that the BOTA has requested.
Waddell stated that he sent an agreement that was written up for Gold Star EMS, which was looked at by each of the commissioners, to the agency for its study and approval. Over the last two months, the BOC has been in discussions with Gold Star concerning the agency’s request for more funding from the county for its services.
Waddell added that he plans to contact Gold Star later in the week so that they will have enough time to review the proposed agreement so that the BOC and Gold Star can agree on an amount so that the amount can be figured into the overall budget.
According to Jarvis, the proposed FYE 2022 Budget has not yet been approved by the BOC and the figures mentioned above are subject to change.
The proposed budget will be considered for approval by the BOC at its regular meeting on Tuesday, June 15 at 6 p.m. Jarvis told the BOC that once she makes all of the changes that need to be made in the proposed budget, she will prepare a budget summary for all funds so that it can be considered for approval at the BOC’s regular meeting on June 15.