The Dawson County government has released a preliminary budget of $30,645,860 for 2021, proposing large cuts compared to the current 2020 budget, but including multiple new positions, upgrades and projects that could be started over the next year.
At a meeting of the Dawson County Board of Commissioners held on Nov. 19, 2020, Commission Chair Billy Thurmond released the first specific numbers on the 2021 budget to the public, presenting board members and the gathered crowd with a full accounting of that occurred during this year’s budgeting process.
Thurmond said that through the public budget hearings that were held over the last several months, they were about to create a “realistic revenue-based budget” that conformed to the county’s reduced millage rate and the challenges of COVID-19.
The proposed 2021 budget allocates the following funding to county functions; $5.5 million to the general government, $3.5 million to the county judicial system, $8.4 million to the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office, $5.9 million to public safety, $1.9 million to public works, $1.7 million to recreation and culture, $918,421 to housing and development, $330,232 to health and welfare, and $2.1 million for grants and other departments.
Thurmond said that of the expenditures which were proposed by the county’s departments, they only selected projects that can be completed in 2021.
“We didn’t overestimate,” Thurmond said. “We tried to be very conservative in our revenue projections, that what we projected is actually what we will be able to get to.”
Notable projects and expenditures 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.
Following Thurmond’s presentation during the commission’s work session, the first of three public comment sessions on the 2021 budget was held. There were no comments.
The second and third public hearings on the budget will be held at the commissioner’s upcoming work session and voting session on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020.
For more information on the 2021 budget visit www.dawsoncounty.org/bc-boc/page/chairmans-fy-2021-proposed-budget-notice-public-hearings.