Hearing no questions or comments, the Lowndes County Board of Commissioners approved the budget for Fiscal Year 2010-11 in three minutes Monday.

The vote was unanimous to adopt the $72 million budget, which represents a decrease of $27 million compared to last year’s budget.

With a decrease in tax collections, Lowndes County has had to decrease staff and take other reductions in order to meet its obligations.

At a public hearing that was held on Monday, July 12, Finance Director Stephanie Black explained the budget, which includes all of the county functions such as water/sewer, fire/rescue, and 911 operations.

The county must also fund constitutional and mandated expenses, including the health department, juvenile court, public defender, board of elections, state, probate and superior courts, coroner, and sheriff’s office.

A large portion of the budget was reduced due to no new construction/capital projects planned, and cuts were made in nearly every department and function under the county’s purview.

No raises are budgeted, travel allowances have been reduced, and other staff expenses have been eliminated or reduced as well.

With a reduction in sales tax collections, property tax collections and decreased building activity, revenues are expected to decline for this fiscal year by at least $2 million on top of other reductions already taken.

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