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FY 2020 county budget enters hearings
FB DCN Government County

Dawson County Board of Commissioners Chairman Billy Thurmond presented his proposed budget for FY 2020 at the Oct. 4 Board of Commissioners meeting.

According to Thurmond’s presentation, his goals for the FY 2020 budget process included preparing a “realistic, revenue-based budget,” ensuring that the “budget conforms to the reduced millage rate from 8.138 to 8.089,” providing the “same or improved level of funding for all departments—thus improving the level of service,” and giving each department and agency “the opportunity to present their requests to the full Board during public hearings.”

The Board fielded requests for funds from the various departments that totaled to more than $31 million. The 2019 budget was just over $27 million.

The proposed 2020 budget totals $29.9 million.

Thurmond justified the increase in budget by citing a projected revenue increase of around $2.8 million, or 10.26%. This revenue increase comes largely from an increase of fund balance reserves, as well as projected increases in property tax — despite a lower millage rate — and local option sales tax (LOST) collection.

The largest expenditure in the proposed budget is once again the Sheriff’s Office, totaling $8.3 million. The Sheriff’s Office also saw the largest overall budget increase over the 2019 budget — up $788,039.

Public safety and general government are the next two biggest expenditures, totaling $5.5 million and $5.4 million respectively. Public safety also picked up a significant increase to their budget over 2019, up $717,174.

The budget also includes a proposed $250,000 for attorney fees.

The budget goes back before the Board of Commissioners during their Oct. 17 voting session.