November 11, 2015 Edition

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County budget looking
good with new sales tax

Megan Heyl
Staff Writer

Budget planning for the county had been held in anticipation of the results from Tuesday's special election on a one-half cent sales tax that would pay off the bonds and maintain a new county jail.

The budget has been in good standing, and departments that have been in the red are getting closer to a balanced budget. During Monday night's Quorum Court meeting the threat of losing the county jail left justices worried that the county would be facing a broken budget in 2016.

Justice Junior Briner said until the results of the election were in, there was no way to know what to do with the budget. The budget was tabled for a special meeting to discuss the 2016 budget set for Dec. 7.

County Treasurer Marilyn Crafton said county general is in good shape and she is pleased with the ending balance for 2015. Even though the expenditures for 2016 are expected to rise due to inflation, Crafton's data shows that anticipated revenue for the county is also higher in 2016.

Also at the meeting:

Blaine Davis presented the court an opportunity to replace the courthouse's outdated lighting using LED 50,000-hour bulbs. He said a program through Entergy offers an incentive to replace the lighting which would pay $9,400 of the total $21,000 investment. The new bulbs would also save approximately $6,000 annually on the courthouse electric expenses. Davis said the county could expect a return on its investment within two years. Justices agreed to add it to the agenda for the Dec. 7 meeting.

Justices approved end-of-year bonuses.

Justices approved millage rates for 2016.

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