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Commission adopts $122 million budget
by Staff Reports
May 30, 2013 11:14 AM | 1396 views | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
During its regular meeting last week, the Henry County Board of Commissioners adopted a balanced fiscal 2014 general fund budget of $122 million.

This amount reflects revenues of $119 million, with the difference being made up through the use of fund balance.

Property tax revenues are estimated to be up slightly, by less than one percent over fiscal 2013, a minor improvement over previous years’ downward trends.

Revenue from sales and use taxes are also up by more than $900,000.

Also included in the $122 million is more than $1.4 million in state grant funds that will be used to complete 19 road resurfacing projects in the coming year. It also includes $525,000 in grant funds for an update to the Comprehensive Transportation Plan and $50,000 in reimbursements for a GIS mapping update. This year, commissioners also elected to include $1.2 million for extra compensation for employees.

The added compensation will be either an across-the-board bonus averaging $573 or a pay raise of up to 2 percent, which would be the employees’ first in six years.

It is because employees have gone so long without additional compensation that commissioners also made the decision for the county to absorb fully a 16 percent increase in medical insurance premium costs, totaling $1.9 million.

“Everybody needs to be aware that we can’t hit the reserve fund every year for $3 million dollars. The employee is going to have to know that, for insurance premiums and other things, they are going to have to pay more. That’s why I’m for the two percent as opposed to a bonus plan,” Commissioner Reid Bowman said in a statement. “It’s going to take that or more to get up to the insurance with the increases we’ve seen this year and what we expect to see next year.”

The employees will be paying higher out-of-pocket and co-pay expenses.

In addition, county employees with family coverage will pay $75 more annually in dental insurance premiums.

The county’s claims ratio is close to 100 percent, which means that the insurance carrier, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Georgia, is losing money, leading to the double-digit premium increase.

Additional increases are anticipated for next year due to changes in the nation’s health care programs.

Consequently, for future years, the county is investigating the feasibility of implementing a wellness program.

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