The public had little to say during a recent hearing on Dawson County's proposed 2012 operating budget.
The county commission is expected to vote on the $20.9 million spending plan Sept. 1.
During the Aug. 18 commission meeting, a lone resident praised the work that went into the budget, which limits spending to critical capital needs.
"I've been following this for a number of years, and I'd like to commend you on an excellent job," said Mike Wenson, who also thanked officials for not raising property taxes.
The commission voted last month to keep the county's portion of the millage rate at 8.138 with no increase or roll-up.
Wenson also encouraged officials to take a look at employee retirement plans as a cost-saving measure.
Employee salaries and benefits represent the county's largest expense at $12.9 million, or about 62 percent, of the overall budget.
Chairman Mike Berg called the proposed budget a "balancing act" of revenue versus expenses and emphasized that only necessities would be included. The plan is down about 4 percent from the 2011 adopted budget.
"In this time, with the economic situation, there's little else that we can do," Berg said.
The proposed budget allows the sheriff's office to lease six new patrol cars, sets aside funds for park and IT improvements and draws $220,000 from county reserves to offset increases in fuel and health insurance costs.
That will leave about $3.7 million in the county's reserve fund balance.
The proposal maintains the county's hiring freeze and for the fourth year does not include a cost-of-living raise for employees.
Commissioners are reviewing the proposed budget and can make suggestions, though Berg has said any changes "would have to be zero based, because we've already voted to keep the millage the same."
The Sept. 1 meeting is set for 6 p.m. in the G.L. Pete Gilleland Chambers at the Dawsonville Municipal Complex.