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CONYERS — Rockdale County Chief Financial Officer Roselyn Miller presented the proposed 2020 budget to the Board of Commissioners (BOC) at a public hearing Monday morning. The proposed budget is $74,912,728, a 9% increase over the 2019 budget.

Miller informed the commissioners that for the second year in a row, the county will not have to go into its reserve fund to balance the budget. Last year was the first time since 2010 that the county did not have to use its reserves to help balance the budget.

Other budget highlights include adding only 12 full time positions, planned demolition of unsafe structures, the construction of the Costley Mill multi-purpose facility, an increase in the Meals on Wheels program by Senior Services, continued technology advancements and upgrades, a contract for mowing and rights of way maintenance, a pavement/resurfacing maintenance program, improved medical and mental health care at the jail, 2020 fire recruit class uniforms, and preparing for the 2020 elections.

Revenues for the 2020 budget will be made up of property taxes at 66%, sales taxes at 22%, charges for services at 7%, fines at 3%, miscellaneous revenue at 2%, and business licenses at 1%.

Salaries and benefits will make up the majority of the expenditures at 63%. There is not an across-the-board pay raise for employees this year, but they will receive increases for longevity and other factors developed in a compensation model and incentives developed by the Talent Management department.

Contract services make up 18% of the expenditures. Miller explained that contract services include legal, upkeep of facilities, and inmate medical care. Indirect costs are 10% of the budget, and utilities are 9%.

In key county service areas, public safety takes up 47% of the budget. Public safety includes the coroner, E911, EMS, Fire and Rescue, and Sheriff’s Office.

General government accounts for 33% and includes Animal Control, Board of Assessors, Board of Commissioners, Board of Elections, Cooperative Extension, Economic Development, Finance, Health and Welfare, Maintenance, Planning and Development, Public Relations, Talent Management, Tax Commissioner, and Technology Services.

Court services have 10% of the costs. Court services are made up of Clerk of Courts, District Attorney, Juvenile Court, Magistrate Court, Probate Court, Public Defender, State Court, Superior Court I, and Superior Court II.

Parks and recreation account for 6% and includes Parks and Recreation, Senior Services, and Libraries, and the Department of Transportation.

George Kelechek was the only citizen to comment on the budget during the hearing. Kelechek noted he had presented the BOC with a proposal for saving the county $750,000 by paring the county’s fleet of F150 pickup trucks in half, and using smaller and more economical SUVs in their place.

The BOC will go over the proposed budget this week and make adjustments. They will have the first reading of the 2020 appropriations ordinance at their regular meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 12, at 10 a.m. and will have the second reading and adoption of the 2020 appropriations ordinance at their regular meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 10 a.m. Both meetings will be held in the Assembly Hall at 901 Main St. in Conyers.

Senior Reporter

Born and raised in Decatur, Ga. Graduated from Shorter College in Rome, Ga. in 1979 with B.A. in Communications. Worked in community newspapers for 26 years. Started at Rockdale Citizen/Newton Citizen in January 2016.