Supervisors set budget hearing

Oktibbeha County supervisors will have a public hearing to discuss the county’s budget crisis, while no member will say whether an ad valorem tax increase is on the horizon.
The Board of supervisors have scheduled the hearing for this Monday at 6 p.m. on the second floor of the Oktibbeha County Courthouse on Main Street.
The county’s gas severance tax was nearly cut in half from its projected $500,000, while years ago, it was common to receive $100,000 to $200,000 more.
The state of Mississippi has cut back on homestead reimbursement, giving the county only 80 percent of original $401,750 compensation.
And while the state previously helped the county pay for local prisoners’ medical assistance, it’s now only reimbursing medical rates.
Therefore, the county will have to pay 100 percent of the medical expenses for inmates who’ve yet to go to court.
Additionally, the board has not purchased any new certificates of deposit (CDs) since September of 2007, due to comparatively low interest rates.
County administrator Don Posey suggested having the public hearing on Sept. 15, when the board has to adopt the budget.
“I thought we were trying to get away from having a public hearing and adopting the budget on the same day,” Howard said.
Jackson suggested a hiring freeze, which the City of Starkville mandated during its previous budget season in order to fill a budget gap of nearly $1 million without raising taxes.
“I think we’re going to have to start doing more with less and moving some people around when employees retire or get another job,” Jackson said.