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County talks budget, roads

Pike County commissioners discussed budgeting and road repairs at their Wednesday, April 9 meeting. County manager John Hanson presented commissioners with the first draft of the 2014-15 budget, which totals $9.3 million for an increase of $726,797 from the previous fiscal year. It would provide a 2% raise for some employees and focus on road improvements. Hanson gave a brief rundown of the proposed budget. Hanson and finance officers met with each department head and went over each line item in their departments. They then met again with the county’s recommendation at a public budget workshop. ’Some things that have built the budget are road conditions,’ he said. ‘I think this is Pike’s first and foremost issue in past fiscal years and will be in the coming year.’ The budget proposes creating a grounds department to allow public works to focus on road improvements. There will be several SPLOST and LMIG road projects in the coming fiscal year. The proposed raise for employees does not include commissioners, the county manager, elected officials, constitutional officers or department heads. He said Pike’s collections for the SPLOST and LOST funds are down 15% to 18%, and the county had been unsure about how the new TATV tax will make up for that downfall. ’It looks like if we stay on track we’ll be around $150,000 over that revenue amount. At minimum we’ll break even and might even exceed that if the trend continues,’ said Hanson. ‘We may be doing better than expected but we need to work through that during the budget process. The numbers are an indication we need to support buying in Pike and remind folks when they spend dollars here it stays here to benefit the county.’ Commissioners heard it appears Pike will receive 75% of the cost of labor, equipment and overtime spent on road repair after months of storms as long as work is completed by May 15. Any work after that will be covered up to 65%. Some roads are still being fixed due to washouts including Old Meansville and Dripping Rock roads. The county also: ’¢ Approved a request for the Meansville fire department to use the courthouse grounds for Give Burns the Boot Saturday, April 19, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ’¢ Held a public hearing and approved a special exception in a C-2 zoned district to allow a used car lot run by David Jordan on the property of Steven and Karon Sheriff on Highway 19 north. It must meet numerous requirements. ’¢ Re-adopted on second reading the official zoning map. ’¢ Approved on second reading the annual ratification of the county code. ’¢ Approved the IDA’s request to allow a one-day alcohol license for the May 15 Business 2 Business membership appreciation event to be held at Chestnut Oak.

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