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Supervisors plan hearing on new year budget

Lincoln County officials are preparing for the public hearing for their 2012-2013 fiscal year budget.

     A public hearing to get comments from citizens will be held on Monday during the Lincoln County Board of Supervisors’ regularly scheduled meeting at 9 a.m. at the Lincoln County/Brookhaven Government Complex.

     County Administrator David Fields said after initial plans for a 2-3 percent increase in the budget, officials decided against it.

     “The board ended up leaving it where it was last year,” he said. “That will leave the tax levy and everything rolling on. There’s not much to talk about.”

     All normal expenditures in the proposed $15.2 million budget will remain the same.

     Fields said the only way county employees will get a pay raise is if their department heads go through their budgets and cut elsewhere in order to give employees a raise.

     “Each department head will give them out as they see fit,” said Fields. “There will be no across the board pay raises.”

     Fields said the reason not to increase the budget ending up being simple: officials did not want to raise taxes.

     “For us to increase our spending, we’d have to increase the tax levy, and the supervisors don’t want to do that this year,” he said. “As long as people can work within their budgets, we’ll leave the tax levy the same.”

     One thing that could have an impact on the budget is the recovery cost from Hurricane Isaac, but Fields said officials have no idea at this point what that will be.

     “Since the declaration, the cost should be covered by at least 75 percent,” he said speaking about the board’s declaration of a state of emergency before the storm, which allows for federal funding. “More than likely the state will split the other 25 percent, so we’ll only be out about 12 percent on that. It will total just two days of overtime and shouldn’t affect us in any way negatively.”

     The new budget will take effect on Oct. 1.