County nearly ready to pass FYE2019 budget

Published 10:18 pm Monday, September 10, 2018

Pike County’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year is almost ready after weeks of work by commissioners to determine where money could be saved.

After much deliberation, County Administrator McKenzie Wilson said the budget has remained relatively unchanged so far other than some maneuvering of money for the commission’s 24-month plan to allocate money for the rehabilitation of local roads and bridges.

“Almost everything else is the same,” Wilson said. “Most departments requested level funding.”

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The commissioners took $385,000 that had formerly been allocated annually from the road and bridge fund to go toward the debt reduction and diverted it for repairing local roads and bridges. Another $90,000 in savings from a reduction in the labor force in the road department was also reallocated for local roads and bridges and $125,000 is to come from the general fund.

Two other issues still remaining for commissioners to discuss before final approval of the budget include funding of the Pike Area Transit System (PATS) and the merger of the EMA and 911 offices.

Commissioners did not have any new information to speak of regarding PATS, but Chairman Robin Sullivan asked for the item to remain on the agenda until the budget is approved. Director Dante Frazier requested $107,000 from the commission, their match in the overall budget that also includes funding from the City of Troy and Brundidge in addition to federal funds.

Interim EMA Director Herbert Reeves said he and the stakeholders, along with Wilson and 911 Director Chris Dozier, discussed each stakeholder contributing funding based on population as according to the 2010 Census. Reeves said the commission should have more information at their next meeting once the mayors have brought the matter before their councils for discussion.

The county also chose not to fund RSVP and reallocated the $2,500 designated for the organization to the Pioneer Museum.

In other business, the county created a new job position within the commission office of “commission accountant” to replace the position of “accountant” that had been recently vacated.

“Compared to the accountant position, it would not require a four-year accounting or business degree for the job,” Wilson said. “We also removed some technical things already done by the chief accountant; there’s no need to have those duties doubled up.”

The new employee will also report directly to the chief accountant instead of the county administrator, Wilson said. The new pay grade will be reduced two levels based on the lower requirements necessary.

The commission will meet again on Monday, September 24, upstairs at the Pike County Health Department. The work session will begin at 5:15 p.m. and will be followed by a business meeting at 6 p.m.