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Commission budget nearly $760,000 less than last year

The Screven County Commission approved a $9.7 million budget that board members boast is $759,983 less than last year’s budget.

“I want to thank the whole board, the county manager and the clerks,” said commissioner J.C. Warren Tuesday night at the meeting. Warren said each board member played a vital role in the finalized budget that does not include a tax increase.

“This is the first time the whole board has come together like this on a budget,” he said. “I appreciate the work of everyone.”

The commissioners said the board was able to cut costs without traumatically hampering the operations of county departments.

“It was a collaborative effort,” said commissioner Roland Stubbs, who reports back to the board on finance issues.

“I appreciate each and every one of you,” said Stan Sheppard, the commission chairman. “I’ve been asked by people how we did it and all I can tell them is it is just magic.”

The county’s budget will be $9,768,227.

The commission has reserves available in the form of sales tax money that had been earmarked for a landfill. The board decided in December that the construction of a landfill is not economically feasible and that the $4 million instead could be used in the county’s general fund.

The board wanted to save the reserves for tough times ahead.

The budget includes no capital expenditures for such items as vehicles or buildings. It also includes no furloughs, layoffs or raises and it does not cut services.