Supervisors say 2001-2002 budget looks ‘pretty good’

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 8, 2001

Adams County Supervisor Sammy Cauthen knows preparing a budget requires some juggling.

But it’s a process county officials must go through every summer. &uot;Right now it looks like we’re holding our own pretty good,&uot; Cauthen said. &uot;It looks like we’re going through the process pretty well.&uot;

The Adams County Board of Supervisors held one of many workshops Tuesday to discuss its budget for the 2001-2002 fiscal year.

After last year’s budget workshop, the county voted to increase its tax rate by 1.95 mills to 56.76 mills. That increase raised the taxes on a $100,000 house $19 last year.

When drafting the budget, the supervisors study the items requested by each county department and try to decide which are must-have items for the upcoming year.

Last year’s ad valorem, or property tax revenue, generated $8,608,329, or about 53 percent of the county’s total revenue.

Road department

During Tuesday’s workshop the supervisors discussed several department budgets including one of its largest – the Adams County Road Department.

Although the supervisors increased the road department’s budget last year to buy extra road supplies, Cauthen and Bobby Powell, administrative assistance with the road department, said its budget may actually be down this year, because plans not to fill two vacant positions and a possible decrease in the amount of construction materials needed next year, Powell said.

County airport

Clint Pomeroy, director of the Natchez-Adams County Airport, said his department’s submitted budget is difficult to compare to last year’s budget, because the airports needs hinge on the price of airplane fuel and fuel sales.

Still, the airport is asking for a slight increases this year with a total requested budget of $523,100, Pomeroy said. &uot;We’re asking for some additional funding for some matching grants from the FAA and a new pickup truck through capital improvements,&uot; Pomeroy said.

The airport commission is also asking for slight salary increases because its employees did not receive raises last year like other county employees, Pomeroy said.

In past years, Pomeroy said the supervisors have been very supportive of the airport but that does not mean they grant every request. &uot;I’ve managed to get what I’ve needed, but I don’t try to send them a very inflated request either,&uot; Pomeroy said. &uot;They’re looking at it closely, so I try to send them what I perceive as the real and accurate needs of the airport for the next year.&uot;

Pat Murphy, director of the Natchez-Adams County Port, said his department does not ask for operations money from Adams County making cuts as needed, depending on its revenues.

For example, during the current fiscal year, the port earned $453,000 through port business and had $390,000 in expenses.

So to prepare its budget, Murphy said officials try to estimate business by talking to their regular customers.

The port does not expect to earn $1.4 million during 2001-2002 but &uot;we hope that next year’s going to be better than last year,&uot; Murphy said.