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Montgomery Plans Status Quo in 2011
Thursday, 06 January 2011

January 6--  Last year the Montgomery County commissioners had to raise property taxes by one mil just to maintain the status quo in 2011.  That's because the county tax digest dropped by $7.3 million.

"We're hoping that we'll have no surprises in our budget in 2011 and that nothing will come up to cause us to borrow money at the end of the year," says Commission Chairman Brandon Braddy.

Braddy says the county ended the year with a surplus of about $180,000 and a capital improvement debt of $367,000 for a new courthouse roof.  The 2011 county budget of $3.3 million is the same as last year, and Braddy credits county department heads for helping to hold expenses down.

"All of our county departments have been really faithful about staying within their budgets and tightening their belts and I'm really thankful for that," he said.

The chairman hopes 2011 will be the year a decision is finally made regarding the building of a privately owned and operated jail in Mount Vernon for use by the county.  Until then, it's costing the county about $350,000 a year to house prisoners elsewhere.

"We want to give it every opportunity for it to happen, but at some point we've got to say is it going to happen or not. I think 2011 will be a pivotal year to make that determination," Braddy believes.

Because the county is strapped for money, Braddy hopes a new state law allowing voters in a region to pass a sales tax for transportation will help fund road resurfacing in Montgomery County.

"We don't really need a lot of new roads to pave, we need money to maintain the roads we already have.  If the voters approve, I hope we can take that money and resurface existing roads," he says.

If a regional planning group can agree on road priorities, voters will have a chance to vote on a sales tax for roads in November, 2012. 


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