Polk County Commission August 2019

County Commissioners approved their annual budget for FY 2020 during their August session. Commissioner Scotty Tillery, left, praised the efforts of the county administrative staff for the new budget.

Months of meetings, discussion, and updates have finally paved the way for the Polk County Commission to approve their Fiscal Year 2020 budget, and as of the group’s August 6 meeting, there’s no longer any need to continue operating under the FY 2019 numbers.

The group agreed to continue using those FY 2019 numbers earlier in July, and the third update to the budget made its way to the August agenda as planned. While there were still some lingering concerns from the board, members like commissioner Scotty Tillery spoke highly of the budget.

“Thank you to the finance director and her team,” he said. “Matt, Berry, everyone who’s involved in this budget- the finance committee. This is probably the best budget I’ve seen on the county commission, and I’m very proud of it.”

Commissioner Chuck Thaxton, despite not agreeing with certain items, also showed support for the document.

“I’m still concerned about several things, but as a board, we sat up here and went through several items that I still don’t totally agree with. But the board has spoken and I will be in favor of it,” Thaxton shared.

The approved budget was the third update, and while the exact changes were not specified during the Aug. 6 session, earlier numbers suggested a total budget of $22.5 million. Taxes were predicted to come in higher at approximately $16 million. That includes at least $1 million in spending on forthcoming pay scale changes for county employees that will provide an increase to their annual salaries. Those pay changes will become effective in October.

One factor that made it possible to approve the budget now was the completion of the Carl Vinson Study from the University of Georgia. The institute was responsible for generating new position descriptions, establishing a grading system designed to place jobs on the pay scale based on both requirements and market trends, and generating two different pay scale tables for general employees and public safety officials.

The commission voted to use the suggestions provided by the study during the meeting, and with it, they can better budget employee salaries and compensation.

More information about changes to fees, taxes, or other items can be found by visiting http://www.polkga.org/.

Outside of the budget, the group appointed County Chairperson Jennifer Hulsey as the county voting delegate for the fall ACCG Legislative Leadership Conference.

Those interested in hearing updates about other issues can attend the board’s next work session on September 9 beginning at 5:15 p.m. and their regular meeting on Sept. 10 beginning at 7 p.m.