Lowndes County Commissioners will discuss the proposed fiscal year 2006 budget at 6 p.m. Monday at the Lowndes County Administration Building, 325 W. Savannah Ave.

The proposed budget shows an approximate $2.4 million increase, or 6.61 percent, for $40 million. Last year's budget was about $37.6 million.

The budget does not include a millage-rate increase for unincorporated and incorporated tax payers.

County Manager Joe Pritchard said commissioners tried to fit all the demands into the allotted funds.

"The economy is active and vital," Pritchard said.

"We're giving the public the option to review the proposals that the county commissioners reviewed."

Pritchard said the budget shows cost-of-living and merit increases.

The projected revenues report shows the increase is due to the increase in the digest, the increase in local option sales tax and the use of some of the reserve for insurance premium taxes.

Department requests include $12.8 million for the sheriff's department, an increase from $10.8 million last year; $5 million for jail operational costs; $1.8 million for the fire-rescue department and about $939,000 for emergency medical services.

One recommendation involves changing alcoholic beverage licenses to include a per-drink type and service license, a change from the current pouring license.

Most municipalities have separate licenses for alcohol pouring, beer pouring and wine pouring.

The move would add an approximate $75,000 to the county.

Commissioners will hear public opinion at the June 20 meeting and the final approval will follow a second public hearing on June 28.

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