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County budget hearings commence
budget staged 005

The board of commissioners held its first set of public budget hearings this week with more to come through next Thursday.

The departments that presented Monday included the superior and drug courts, Keep Dawson County Beautiful, CASA, the senior center and transit, fleet maintenance and the health department.

Representatives for the superior court asked for $60,608 above what they were allocated in the previous year.

Included in their request are salary supplements for a new, fifth judgeship set to start Jan. 1, 2018.

The selection process for the new judge is expected to begin around October, but the court is asking for supplements for the judge, their certified legal assistant, judicial secretary and a court reporter.

The court also asked for a $3,000 annual supplement for the assistant director of treatment services, a program that is now being combined with drug court.

Reggie Forrester, court administrator, made the requests and after his presentation told the board of his appreciation for the new budget hearing format.

"In 12 years this is the first time I've seen the entire Dawson County commission for a budget hearing, so it's a distinct honor for me to be able to talk to all of you," Forrester said.

Tuesday's hearings included the public defender's office, the board of elections, public works and the transfer station, probate court and the county extension office.

In many departments, the bulk of the difference in what was allocated last year and what is being asked for this year are the raises the board recently approved for all county employees.

Wednesday morning heard the magistrate court, finance department, planning and zoning and the county marshal, parks and recreation and family connection.

Further budget hearings will be held June 29, July 3, July 5 and July 6 from 9 a.m. to noon in the assembly room at the Dawson County Government Center in Dawsonville.