The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners (BOC) got the new year off to a positive start and adopted a $1.5 billion budget for 2016 fiscal year. With the exception of slight adjustments made to the police budget, it incorporates the proposal made in November. After the proposed budget was released, Commissioners reviewed the budget details and comments they received during a December public hearing, and through online correspondence.
The adopted budget does not increase property tax rates, yet adds funding for services cut during the recession. It also addresses concerns about workforce recruitment and retention, and investing in essential infrastructure and critical community needs. Gwinnett Commission Chairman Charlotte Nash said, “This budget invests in the big picture, focusing on what’s really important for our community. It also is in line with our history of sustainable, conservative financial management by looking at future implications of today’s decisions.”
The operating budget totals $1.1 billion, compared to $1.05 billion last year. It includes an additional $7.2 million to cover election expenses and expand hours and locations for advance voting. It also restores staff at the animal shelter and in parks maintenance. Library funding is up to 88 percent of its 2008 level and enables Gwinnett Transit to add three new express routes. Home care and delivered meals are expanded for seniors on waiting lists.
There will also be additions to a special victims unit in the District Attorney’s office, 30 new police officers, nine new firefighter/paramedics, 12 new part-time sheriff deputies, three new Juvenile Court positions and another magistrate judge. The budget includes a four percent pay-for-performance increase for eligible employees and the restoration of longevity pay.
The capital budget of $363 million, down from $371 million last year, funds design for a new state patrol building, a courthouse expansion, construction of a new medical examiner/morgue building, senior center renovations and body cameras for police officers and sheriff’s deputies.
In establishing the 2016 budget, Chairman Nash again asked five county residents and business people to serve voluntarily on a budget review committee. They heard presentations from elected officials and department directors in September and studied departmental business plans, funding needs and revenue projections with County staff before making recommendations for the 2016 budget.
Taken from the Snellville Patch, the full article can be found at This Link