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Commissioners OK budget with no tax increase
Staff cuts costs to offset low revenues for 2011
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Other business:

  • Commissioners approved a false alarm ordinance for fire services that will implement a fee schedule for excessive false fire alarms.
  • The board approved a request to amend a July 10 event permit at the Clarks Bridge Park rowing facility to include an amateur water skiing and wakeboarding tournament. Jim Pickens, director of the rowing club, said the event will likely be a boost for the local economy.
    “It’s a very easy way to bring in some tax money to the towns and for the clubs at the venues to make some money,” Pickens said.

The Hall County Board of Commissioners easily passed next year’s budget Thursday with a round of applause at its board meeting.

Only one resident spoke at the 6 p.m. public hearing at the Georgia Mountains Center, and it was in favor of the $90.4 million budget that will not raise taxes.

The budget for fiscal year 2011, which begins July 1, is $2.3 million less than the 2010 budget.

Finance Director Michaela Thompson gave the commission a short presentation on the budgeting process, highlighting the many cost-saving measures, like employee furloughs and a capital expenditure freeze, that will be continued in 2011 as a defense against the slow economy.

Thompson said tax revenues continue to remain low in all areas, due to declines in spending and construction within the county.

The millage rate, which levies $1 of tax for every $1,000 of assessed property value, will remain the same as last year at 6.25 mills.

The four commissioners attending voted unanimously to adopt the budget. Commissioner Ashley Bell was not present.

“I think the staff did a really good job of holding the line,” Commissioner Bobby Banks said.

Many of the cost-saving measures that have been implemented over the last two years have come from personnel. Commissioner Steve Gailey recognized the county’s staff for making due with less.

“I know you’re sacrificing a lot,” Gailey said. “We appreciate what you have done to help keep the taxes in line.

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