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Most departments face cuts in proposed county budget

The McDuffie County Commission will meet Tuesday night on a proposed general fund budget that includes cuts in almost every department.

County Manager Don Norton said it also includes contingency funds.

"We have $150,000 in contingency, which is very important to have this year because we don't know what we're getting into," Norton said during a budget work session June 14.

Increases are proposed for elections, general administration, Superior Court, maintenance and shop and the development authority. Norton said the general administration increase reflects the $150,000 contingency.

The elections increase is needed because of the election cycle -- 2012 is a presidential election year.

The Superior Court increase is needed because more bailiffs will be needed with trials going on concurrently in two courtrooms, he said.

Commission Chairman Charlie Newton questioned that request.

"If you're going to have two courts running at the same time you're going to have less court dates, right?" Newton asked. Norton promised to look into that issue.

Increases in the other departments were largely the result of pension costs and anticipated increases in the cost of health insurance, Norton said.

The proposed general-fund budget, which does not include capital expenditures, is $12,314,947, a reduction of 0.7 percent from projected expenditures for this year. Chief Appraiser Linda Thurmond said the tax digest should be about the same as this year's.

The commission budget work session is expected to begin at 6:30 p.m. at the courthouse.

Web posted on Thursday, June 23, 2011

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