Lamar County budget process begins

By BUSTER WOLFE,

Lamar County officials hope to keep from increasing property taxes for fiscal year 2019 beginning Oct. 1 for the 18th straight year when department heads begin the budget process Thursday.

However, County Administrator Joseph “Jody” Waits said some department heads may be asked to “hold the line” on spending.

Last year’s budget and tax levy that were approved by the Board of Supervisors was bolstered by an estimated extra $2 million in projected revenue over the previous fiscal year.

Waits said Thursday’s session is just a starting point for county officials who direct their departments’ budgets.

“June is the kickoff when we meet with department heads, give them a budget worksheet and talk with them about expectations,” he said. “Then we schedule meetings with them and begin the process.”

Waits said the department heads do not have anticipated revenues at this point to finalize the budgets.

“We use history,” he said. “We don’t have numbers from the tax assessor. We know historically what’s been going on, so we use a lot of history.”

Waits said some areas in the budget can expect no increased spending.

“We’re likely to ask some departments to hold the line, not ask for any increases,” he said. “This is the early stages right now. Once we get our numbers from the tax assessor, we will see where actually needs are and try to solve those.

“Ideally, we’d like to not have any increase in budget. We’d like to have an increase in valuation and build our General Fund reserve and that way plan for some capital improvements.”

In other business Monday, the board:

•          Heard from Chris Howdeshell, who is running for the 10th District Chancery Court judgeship being vacated by M. Robert Doleac.

•          Approved the May 24, 2018 Board Minutes.

•          Status Change: Lena Clarke from Buildings & Grounds to Board of Supervisors Receptionist effective June 11, 2018, no change in pay.

•          New Hire: Wanda Anderson, Buildings & Grounds Janitorial effective June 11, 2018 at $10.50 per hour.

•          Resigned: Sandra Morris, Board of Supervisors effective June 1, 2018.

•          Approved the Culvert Report as submitted.

•          Approved the Form 2 Report as submitted.

•          Ordered publication of proceedings in accordance with Miss. Code, §19-3-35.

•          Approved the May 2018 End of the Month Docket in accordance with Miss. Code, §19-13-31.

•          Approved paying the June 2018 Claims Docket.

•          Approved paying the June 2018 monthly civil and criminal claims for constables as submitted.

•          Received and entered clerk's report of receipts and expenditures from the preceding calendar month in accordance with Miss. Code, §19-11-23.

•          Received and entered sheriff s report of expenditures incurred during the preceding calendar month in accordance with Miss. Code, §19-25-13.

•          Received and entered tax assessor/collector' s report of expenditures incurred during the preceding calendar month in accordance with Miss. Code, §27-1-9.

•          Approved Rental Consideration Set in Lease of 16th Section Lands in Lamar County for Marie Del Carmen Arroyo Velasquez.

•          Approved Rental Consideration Set in Lease of 16th Section Lands in Lamar County for Paul and Courtney Galjour.

•          Approved Rental Consideration Set in Lease of 16th Section Lands in Lamar County for City of Purvis.

•          Rental Consideration Set in Lease of 16th Section Lands in Lamar County for Johnny M. Johnson and Chris Johnson.

•          Resigned: Michael Green, Deputy effective June 1, 2018.

•          Rate Change: Jarred Atkins, Southwest effective June 4, 2018 from $18.50 per hour to $18.75 per hour for the completion of Incident Response to Terrorist Bombings Training.

•          Approved the attached asset deletion list as submitted and dispose of as indicated on the attached inventory deletion form.

•          Approved changes in Assessments as submitted by the Tax Collector/Assessor.

•          Approved changes in Homestead as submitted by the Tax Collector/Assessor.

•          Approved Tax Sale Cancellations as submitted by the Tax CoIIector/Assessor.

•          Approved conditional use in order to place a manufactured home on property located at 29 Richburg Road. The Planning Commission forwarded a recommendation for approval. The vote was 3-0. The property is located in Supervisor's District 1.

•          Changed the Land Use Classification from Residential Estate to Patio Homes. The Planning Commission forwarded a recommendation for approval. The vote was 3-0. The property is located at 1791 Old Highway 24 in Supervisor's District 4.

•          Changed the Zoning of the property from RE/Residential Estate to PH/Patio Homes Residential. The Planning Commission forwarded a recommendation for approval. The vote was 3-0. The property is located at 1791 Old Highway 24 in Supervisor's District 4.

•          Approved posting the Federal Emergency Management Agency Public Notice regarding Acquisition and Demolition of Substantially Damaged Properties in Lamar County for FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

•          Discussed citizens parking in road right-of-way in Acadia Oaks Subdivision located in District 5 off Jackson Road. County-approved signage will be placed on the street and Sheriff Danny Rigel said citations will be given out for irregular parking.

•          Approved advertising county resources in accordance with Mississippi Code, §17-3-1 in the amount of $800 for sponsorship of the State of the Pine Belt at the ADP First Friday Breakfast on Oct. 5.

•          Approved the terms of the attached Public Notice and approval to publish the Public Notice concerning The Board of Supervisors, authorizing and approving a loan on behalf of the County from the Mississippi Development Authority for the purpose of completing capital improvements identified as the construction of the Ball Lane Fire Station.

•          Announced that Lamar County Sheriff Rigel will be offering for auction 230 acres located in Lumberton in six tracts on June 20 at the county storm shelter. An open house of the property will be held Saturday. More information can be found at www.lamarcountvms.gov.

•          Denied the request from Lamar County School Board to assist with construction of a building pad and storm drain for new maintenance shop on Hwy 11 across from Purvis High School.

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