WINONA – The Montgomery County Board of Supervisors adopted a new budget for fiscal year 2020 following a public hearing on the matter Tuesday morning. No one appeared at the meeting in favor of or opposition to the proposed budget.
The budget, which will go into effect on October 1, 2019, estimates $4,161,875 in total expenditures for county operations, and revenue is expected at $4,072,515.
“The county cut $38,000 out of the budget to make the budget balance to prevent raising the millage rate,” Chancery Clerk Ryan Wood said.
He described the additional expenses this year as “the cost of doing business” increasing.
The board made cuts to the care of prisoners budget, the liability insurance budget, and the chancery court budget. All of these budget items are expected to decrease in the upcoming fiscal year, with the insurance premium less than last year’s and the recent decrease of chancery court terms from seven to four each year.
The county’s millage rate will remain at 80.82, which is expected to bring in $3,004,848 in ad valorem taxes.
Wood said the upcoming budget does not include any special projects or large purchases, with the exception of $50,000 to assist the City of Winona in paving Powell Street and several tributary streets.
“We did budget for our normal paving projects,” Wood said.
Currently the county is paving Dividing Ridge Road, Fisher Crossing, Minerva Road.
Although the millage rate for Montgomery County is not increasing, the millage request from the Winona-Montgomery Consolidated School District did increase by 4.39 mils which was voted on by the school board. The increase is to fund the district’s School Resource Officer program and special programs to improve reading test scores and annual state test scores.
In other business, the board of supervisors approved the request of the City of Winona to assist in the cost to pave Powell Street, from the railroad tracks on the east side of Highway 51 all the way to Barron Street, the south side of Barron Street to Dennis Street, Dennis Street from Barron to Cemetery Lane, and Cemetery Lane back to Powell.
The board voted to give the city $50,000 to offset the $400,000 cost of the project.
This project will be paid for in part by $300,000 designated to for the project by the Mississippi Legislature during last August’s special session.
According to Winona Mayor Jerry Flowers, the portion of the project on the west side of Highway 51 will cost around $300,000, and the portion on the east side of Highway 51 is estimated at $81,000.
District 5 Supervisor Janet Roby-Harper made the motion to help fund the paving project, with District 4 Supervisor Ron Wood seconding the motion.
According to Ryan Wood, Mississippi Code 65-785 allows for the board of supervisors to assist the city with the cost of the project without having an interlocal agreement.