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Officials' absences delay adopting of 2011 county budget

The adoption of a proposed fiscal year 2011 budget for McDuffie County is going to have to wait until later this month.

During this month's first commission meeting last Wednesday, commissioners voted to postpone adopting it because the commission panel lacked two members.

Chairman Charlie Newton was absent because he was attending a governmental conference, while Commissioner Paul McCorkle was absent because he was attending to personal business in Atlanta, according to McDuffie County Clerk Penny Salley.

"I'd just as soon everyone be here for something as important as this," Commissioner Bill Jopling said prior to making a motion that commissioners postpone adopting the new budget until Mr. Newton and Mr. McCorkle could be in attendance.

The motion received a second and a vote approved unanimously by the three commissioners present, including Mr. Jopling, Vice-Chairman Sammie Wilson, Sr. and the Rev. Frederick Favors.

Mr. Wilson pointed out that a budget resolution required the signature of Mr. Newton and that it would not make sense to pass the budget without him being present.

Commissioners are expected to approve the new budget at their Tuesday, Oct. 19 meeting, which starts at 6:30 p.m. The meeting is slated to be held in the grand jury room of the courthouse.

"I think the county ordinance says it has to be adopted by Oct. 20," McDuffie County Manager Don Norton told commissioners. "Of course, last year, we did not adopt it until November. We were a month late last year, but hopefully this year we can be a day early."

Next year's proposed fiscal year general budget totals $12,402,533.

Projected expenses, meanwhile, are calculated to be $12,367,739, which would leave a balance of only $34,974 in contingency.

"The contingency is probably about a tenth of where I'd like it to be," Mr. Norton said. "But it's contingency, nonetheless."

As required by state law, two public meetings already have been held concerning the proposed budget.

Web posted on Thursday, October 14, 2010

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