After a number of work sessions and discussions concerning a new 2008 fiscal year budget for McDuffie County, officials now have one.
The McDuffie County commissioners have adopted a new county general operating budget, totaling $12,719,495 - an increase of nearly 6 percent above last year's budget, according to Don Norton, county manager.
Commissioners adopted the new 2008 budget during their meeting in the county courthouse last Wednesday morning.
Commission Chairman Charlie Newton said the millage rate for the county would not rise, however. Three public hearings still will have to be held regarding the county millage rate.
The overall budget, including contingency funds, actually amounts to $24,776,661, county records reveal. A detailed copy of the newly adopted county budget can be viewed by the public at the McDuffie County Library in Thomson.
"It's a balanced budget," Mr. Norton said.
Commissioners weren't able, however, to fund all of the requests from various departments, including the sheriff's department.
Sheriff Logan Marshall had requested an increase in manpower, seeking specifically for more deputies and another investigator.
During a recent work session that was attended by Sheriff Marshall, Chairman Newton informed the sheriff that commissioners were working with another tight budget again this year and that any additional manpower would have to come from his overtime budget. Last year, the sheriff's office used about $150,000 in overtime, according to Mr. Norton.
That amount for additional personnel means that the sheriff's office will only be able to fund about three positions.
Mr. Newton assured fellow commissioners that there would be future meetings with Sheriff Marshall concerning funding for the sheriff's office.
"We thought everything was straight with his budget," Mr. Newton said. "But there has been some concern that there were some misunderstandings."
Any future changes would not affect the budget, but would merely mean that it would have to be modified, Mr. Norton said.
"In other words, we wouldn't have to pass a new budget resolution," he pointed out.