For the last five years, the Brantley County Commission has rolled back its millage rate, and this year will be no exception.
The board proposed a county wide gross millage rate of 20.9160 mills in the unincorporated area, less 3.7400 mills for the insurance premium tax rollback, less 4.2700 mills for the local option sales tax rollback for a net M&O millage for the unincorporated Brantley County at 12.9060 mills.
During a called meeting Thursday, the board followed up on discussions during an earlier work session to roll back the millage rate for all county residents.
The board also proposed a gross millage in the incorporated area at 20.9160 mills, less 3.7400 mills for the local option sales tax rollback for a net M&O millage of 17.1760. This excludes the insurance premium tax rollback which the city receives directly.
Commissioners said they are weary of raising the millage rate on citizens who are already struggling with high fuel prices, higher grocery prices and prescription costs.
Commissioner Jesse Mobley pointed out assessments on property increased, but the board still needed to roll back the millage rate to help out the citizens.
Commissioner Randy Davidson noted the citizens of the county are going through the same thing everybody else is dealing with “ ... at the grocery store and with everything else” and he didn't want to add to their problems by raising the millage rate.
Former county manager and current county consultant Chuck Scragg pointed out the county has a “fantastic team” on board who worked on the budget and was able to create a balanced budget for the county. He especially commended Kendal Lewis for her diligence in helping to prepare the budget.
Prior to proposing the millage rate rollback, the board gave final approval for this year's general fund revenue budget in the amount of $13,504,460.86 for FY23, with only a few minor adjustments different from the proposed budget that was unveiled a few weeks ago.
Commissioners also approved a resolution approving the budgets for the following funds:
• Emergency 911 Fund, $354,609.05
• Drug Abuse Treatment and Education Fund, $12,000
• Capital Projects Fund, $136,000
• Jail Fund, $20,000
• DFCS Maintenance Fund, $7,050
The board then adopted a resolution approving the budgets for the volunteer fire department and setting the proposed millage rate in each special tax district at 1.25 mills:
• Calvary VFD, $39,285
• Waynesville VFD, $99,500
• Hortense VFD, $54,000
• Nahunta VFD, $127,958.23
• Hoboken VFD,$54,550
Commissioners approved a Public Safety User Fee that will be calculated so that every parcel in the unincorporated and incorporated areas of the county (excluding cemeteries) receive a fee of $34.24 plus a $94.44 fee for every residential structure commercial structure, mobile home or other mobile home device or structure, being used as a residence on it, all unincorporated parcels of 25 acres or more with no improvements (no structure) will be assessed the additional $94.44 fee.
The board also approved a motion to set the garbage collection fee at $16.10 a month with the annual payment being $193.10.
Following a brief executive session to discuss litigation, personnel and real estate, the county resumed the called meeting and approved a motion to purchase 66 acres of land west of the Brantley County Airport from Timbervest LLC at a price of $241,000 for additional space for the airport and a new fire station to be located there.
Scragg pointed out with a new fire station located within five miles of a home, the county’s ISO rating would be 10, which would save residents money on their home owners insurance anywhere from $200 to $800 a year. Funds for purchasing the land will be taken from the county’s ARC monies which are available for that purpose.