County commission approves $25.07 million budget

·2 min read

Jun. 22—MOULTRIE, Ga. — The Colquitt County Board of Commissioners approved its budget Tuesday, followed by the approval of contracts related to the spending plan.

The Fiscal Year 2022-23 budget ordinance includes a $25.07 million general fund budget and a $4.26 million solid waste budget. It will take effect July 1.

The county will set its millage rate after receiving more information about the tax digest. Tax Commissioner Cindy Harvin told the commissioners that assessments were recently mailed out. She said she can nail down the digest after any appeals to those assessments, which she estimated would take 45 days.

Once the budget was approved, commissioners approved with a single vote several contracts related to the budget, including with the Moultrie-Colquitt County Humane Society, Serenity House, the county's Volunteer Fire Association and the Museum of Colquitt County History. The same vote approved a one-time payment of $10,000 to Crossroads for Her Ministry, a new charity intended to help women get their lives back on track following incarceration or other crisis.

Serenity House, the county's domestic violence shelter, usually receives $19,000 from the county to assist with its operations. This year, the county is adding a one-time payment of an additional $10,000.

Separately, the county approved a contract with the Georgia Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service. The $179,935 contract covers the county's portion of salaries, retirement, Social Security and Medicare for all Extension personnel serving Colquitt County. The contract is in effect July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023. The Extension Service provides a variety of services to local farmers, homeowners, consumers, businesspeople and students.

Unrelated to those budget matters, the commission also approved the purchase of a firewall to protect the county's computer network. Commissioners voted to contract with Howard Technology Solutions, the low bidder, for $10,598, which would be paid for through the 2013 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.

Commissioners also approved a variance request following a public hearing at which no one spoke. The owner of seven acres at 7922 Ga. Hwy. 37 East wanted to split his property into two tracts. He would retain one piece including a house, while the rest would be combined with the land of a neighboring landowner.

Compliance Officer Justin Cox said the property does not have road frontage. An easement allows the resident to use a private dirt road from the highway through the neighbor's property. Under zoning laws approved in 2007, all property must have road frontage, but existing tracts were grandfathered in. That grandfathering ends whenever a landowner makes changes to the tract, such as subdividing, Cox said. He said a variance was required to legally allow the landowner to split the property.

The meeting ended with an executive session regarding pending litigation.