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“Expenditures are up. But the good news is revenues are up in the same relation. So we’ve got a balanced budget,” said county administrator Wesley Vickers at Monday morning’s county commission meeting as he discussed the 2024 budget with commissioners.
On November 20, the county held a public hearing regarding the budget. The general fund budget is $21.9 million and the combined special revenue funds are $29.5 million. The larger special revenue funds include SPLOST VI; next year there will be SPLOST VII, the insurance premium tax fund, and the TIA fund. Commissioners had no questions or comments regarding budget and approved it unanimously. Prior to approving the general fund and special revenue fund budgets, commissioners approved budget amendments for the general fund and insurance premium tax fund.
The commission also awarded the engineering services contract for the upcoming LMIG projects to Statewide Engineering. The total amount of the projects is $2.8 million. Statewide charges 2.5 percent so the total amount of the contract is around $70,000. There are 17 LMIG projects and the county will put those out to bid in the first quarter of 2024.
Other items the county tackled at the meeting include:
- Approving the public defender contract with the Waycross Judicial Circuit for $249,289.98, which is a $10,000 increase over last year’s contract;
- Approving the contract for the Jacobs Engineering Group for 2024-2025 landfill post-closure services for $64,000 ($32,000 per year);
- Rejecting a rezoning request from Maria Esquivel regarding 9.99 acres at 627 Woodcrest Road from AG to RM; and
- Approving an alcohol license for 1st Choice located at 1214 Highway 221 North;
- Approving the employment agreement with county administrator Wesley Vickers for three more years.
The county conducted first readings for the following rezoning requests. Commissioners will vote on these requests at the January meeting:
- A request from Emmanuel Castro Perez to rezone 3.93 acres at 280 Oat Butler Road in Ambrose from AG to W-LI (Warehouse, Light Industrial) for the purpose of building cargo trailers. Both the Planning Commission and county staff do not approve of this request;
- A request from Seven Acres Properties to rezone 31.21 acres on Iron Road from R2, Residential and C, Commercial Mixed to RM Residential Mixed in order to build homes on the property;
- A request from Mark Horton to rezone 3.14 acres at 6878 Highway 32 East between the state park and Nicholls from AG to C, Commercial. Horton would like to sell the property and he’s asking to rezone the tract before he puts the property up for sale. The Planning Commission has approved the request but county staff is not in favor of doing so.
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