Dougherty Commission explain Police furloughs -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Dougherty Commission explains police furloughs

By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  With revenue down across the board Dougherty County commissioners plan to dip into reserves to balance the budget without a tax increase.

They're still looking at 12 furlough days for employees including county police.

The Police Department is funded through a Special Tax District Fund. This year, expenses surpassed revenue. Wednesday County Administrator Richard Crowdis told the Finance Committee that personal property tax revenue is down due to depreciating vehicle values and real estate transfer taxes dropped more than 30-percent because of the housing market.

More street lights added 11-percent to the utility costs, so Crowdis says there's no choice but to use reserves.

"In this years budget we're proposing $650,000 to fund the expenditures with the revenues that we are getting and that will of course decrease our fund balance and I think the finance committee seems to be satisfied that we can go into next year with another fund balance and look at it at that time," said Crowdis.

Right now, the budget proposal includes 12 unpaid holidays for employees and hikes in their insurance premiums. Commissioners say this won't affect services, but Police Chief Don Cheek says the furloughs would force him to pull officers off the roads for a total of 5,000 man-hours and slow response times.

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