DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond released his first proposed operating budget of $1.3 billion for fiscal year 2017, promising to also address chronic issues in the county including inaccurate water billing, blight and unemployment.
“This budget provides a framework for strengthening the government’s fiscal condition, improving public safety, annualizing the fiscal year 2016 pay and compensation increases and funding various infrastructure and capital improvements,” Thurmond said. “By proactively managing our resources, we will be able to maintain a projected $50.1 million fund balance, which equals one month’s operating revenue.”
Prior to the official adoption of the budget, the administration will submit funding proposals to address inaccurate water billing; residential and commercial blight; and unemployment, the administration said in a news release.
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“We will inform the Board of Commissioners and the public of the results of our internal evaluations and analysis of current and past efforts,” Thurmond said.
Included in the fiscal year 2017 proposed budget is:
- $17.2 million to fully fund the pay raises approved last year.
- $2.1 million to fund 20 additional police positions and 36 more fire rescue personnel and $600,000 for police body cameras.
- $4 million to fund road resurfacing efforts.
- $5.4 million to fund the second phase of the Tobie Grant Intergenerational Center, $400,000 for Ellenwood Park and $100,000 for the Lou Walker Senior Center.
- $1.4 million to start payments on bonds for the new animal services facility.
- $983,000 to contribute toward overdue park maintenance.
The Board of Commissioners must approve the budget by the end of February. Two public hearings have been set: Feb. 14 and Feb. 28. Additional public hearings and town halls on the budget will be announced.