Leaders Discuss Money Issues

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The 2005 Lauderdale County budget was the principle topic of discussion at Monday's council of government meeting.

Supervisor Craig Hitt of District 3 expresses concern when the budget topic surfaced.

"This has been a very difficult budget process. The most difficult process that I've been through in the five budgets that I've worked on," Hitt said.

He admitted that a tax increase is inevitable.

"Through the county budget comes the school budget, so when you put the school budget and the county budget together, we are looking at a small increase," said Hitt. "I think the numbers that were given to us Friday were in reference to a $100,000 home. We're looking at about $20 a year increase in taxes, both school and county taxes."

I'm being very optimistic about next year in saying we're funding a lot of things this year that we're not going to have to fund next year," said District 1 Supervisor Eddie Harper. "so I think we're going to be in really, really good shape."

But on the financial horizon is a possible call by workers in the Raymond P. Davis courthouse annex to add security personnel for the building.

Justice Court Judge Robbie Robinson told Council of Governments attendees why he thinks better security is necessary.

"Justice court hears more cases than any other court in the state and in the county," said Robinson. "We have so many people that visit justice court. Not only justice court, we have other offices in that building, the school board, the extension service. The board of supervisor's office is located there and we just feel there's a need for security."

There will be a public meeting Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. In the board's meeting room on the first floor of the annex for the purpose of hearing input about next year's budget.