After three public hearings held in November and December, the Dawson County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a general fund budget of $30,788,031 for 2021.
At a previous board meeting held on Nov. 19, 2020, Commission Chair Billy Thurmond presented the preliminary budget of $30,645,860, which he called “realistic”, considering the county’s reduced millage rate and the challenges of COVID-19.
But prior to the 2021 budget’s final approval on Dec. 3, 2020, Thurmond said that they had been notified that the county’s Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant had been extended, allowing $173,000 in funding to be allocated elsewhere.
With that adjustment and others presented by county staff, the 2021 budget now allocates the following funding to county functions; $5.7 million to the general government, $3.5 million to the county judicial system, $14.3 million to public safety, $1.9 million to public works, $1.7 million to recreation and culture, $1,014,046 to housing and development, $354,732 to health and welfare, and $2.1 million for grants and other departments.
Notable projects and expenditures in the budget include the following:
6 new firefighter/EMT positions for the future Dawson County Fire Station #8.
$312,000 for various new county vehicles
$250,000 for technology upgrades
$97,445 for body cameras and bulletproof vests for the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office.
$882,735 for county match grants that will provide $2,420,105 in funding for local projects.
$20,000 in funding for the Good Shepard Clinic