Commissioners approve budgetary items

Published 12:15 pm Monday, July 3, 2017

By Michael Murray

AMERICUS – The Sumter County Board of Commissioners met for their monthly work session on June 13 and reconvened for its monthly regular meeting on June 20 at the Sumter County Courthouse.
Before opening the work session, County Financial Director, Janice Jarvis updated the commissioners on the proposed budget for the fiscal year, beginning on July 1 in a short public hearing.
Jarvis advised the board that the county’s general fund revenues and expenditures for the next fiscal year total $18,882,325, a 1.5 percent increase over last year’s budget. She went on to say that the fire fund budget for next year totals $ 1,722,167, a decrease of 2.4 around percent over last year’s budget.
The following week, at the regular meeting, Jarvis went into more detail, advising the board that the solid waste fund budget for the next fiscal year had been balanced at $1,303,878. She stated that the solid waste fund budget had been increased somewhat for the next fiscal year because of an increase in landfill expenses.
Other special revenue budgets approved at the regular meeting are as follows:
Sheriff’s DATE fund: $16,000
Law library: $12,200
Victim and witness assistance: $22,150
Alternative Dispute Resolution fund: $26,000
Drug Court fund: $49,200
Sheriff’s Forfeiture Recovery fund: $10,000
Impaired Driving: $500,000
Jail/Commissary Commissions: $112,050
Correctional Institute Commissary fund: $165,100
Public Defender fund: $600,268
Road Projects: $600,500
TSPLOST fund: $866,498
Juvenile supervision fund: $13,000
Juvenile Restitution fund: $5,000
Juvenile Court fund: $265,531
CHIP fund: $125,214
Capital Projects Fund: $423,765
Despite the absence of County attorney, Kimberly Reid, Jarvis advised the board to go ahead and take a vote on each of the resolutions so that they could be passed before June 30. She stated that any revisions deemed necessary by Reid could be addressed upon her return. All of the proposed budgetary items for the next fiscal year were approved.
After the public hearing concluded at the work session, the board spoke with Angelique Ludlam, interim director of Sumter County Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS), who advised the board that the department had implemented a revised system in the Office of Family Independence to help keep up with the public assistance needs in the county.
The board also heard from local citizen, Craig Walker who, in a very dramatic fashion, asked the board to approve repairs to the side of a road in the Meadowood subdivision.
Board chairman, Randy Howard, thanked Walker and reminded him that a representative from the Public Works Department had surveyed the roadside at Walker’s request the previous month. Walker responded that he hadn’t seen anyone from the Public Works Department in the neighborhood since then and expressed his wish that the roadside be repaired so that grass could be planted during the summer.
The commissioners continued a discussion on the issue of the use of recreational vehicles in the Hidden Lakes neighborhood, which had begun at the meeting the previous month.
The commissioners also discussed a proposal to purchase surplus vehicles from the Housing Authority of Americus using SPLOST funds, eventually deciding that SPLOST funds should only be used to purchase new vehicles.
They followed with a discussion of the Sumter County Livestock Authority facility. County administrator, Bill Twomey, advised the board that they would need to release an issue for proposal to find a contractor that can fix the building’s roof. Twomey advised the board that the project would likely require special equipment to brace the building’s trusses while working on the roof. As of the regular meeting, a contract had not been secured.
At the work session, the board approved the offices of Greene and Greene to work alongside the office of Elena Albamonte to handle indigent defense cases in the State Court of Sumter County.
One week later, at the regular meeting, the board heard from Tracy Hall, a representative of the Smarr and Smith Foundation. Hall advised the board that the foundation wishes to donate a portrait of deceased officers, Nick Smarr and Jody Smith, to the county for display in the County Courthouse.
Howard thanked Hall and stated that the board would have to consult Reid to ensure that there would be no legal issues associated with acceptance of the gift.
Sumter County Public Defender, Sam Merritt, also addressed the board, informing them that his office had come in under budget for the previous fiscal year and that he would soon be presenting the county with a check in the amount of the remaining funds.