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2012 budget out for public review
Hearing set for Oct. 6
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Forsyth County News

Get involved


• View the budget online at or at the Forsyth County Administration Building, 110 E. Main St., in Cumming.


• Attend the public hearing at 5 p.m. Oct. 6 in the administration building.

Forsyth County released its 2012 proposed budget for public review on Tuesday.

The public will get a chance to comment on the $92.4 million general fund plan during the commissioners’ meeting Oct. 6.

Since the last review, county staff made just minor tweaks to the budget, finance director David Gruen told the commission during its Tuesday work session.

Most notably, a $630,000 reserve for encumbrances was added to both the expenditure and revenue sides.

The estimated amount will account for purchases made in the budget year that may not be billed until the following year, Gruen said.

"It’s a way of re-budgeting, if you will, for prior year commitments," he said. "The general fund budget has increased both sides by $630,000. It does not change anything else we’ve done in revenues or new budget items for next year."

Overall, the budget is a nearly 5 percent increase from the 2011 budget of about $88.1 million.

The property tax rate remains the same, but Gruen noted that sales tax collections have increased from the previous year and are expected to stay up.

The proposed budget includes 10 paid holidays for employees, which restores the four unpaid from 2011, as well as a 3 percent cost-of-living adjustment and a continued 3 percent 401K match.

In this year’s process, staff separated operating expenditures, new requests, capital items and salary and benefit numbers.

New budget items included positions and park amenities, for an addition of about $486,000.

Board members took notice of the nearly $265,000 needed to operate the two recreation centers scheduled to open in February.

Commissioner Patrick Bell said the county should consider ways to gradually raise the income at the centers.

"We’ve got to get these revenue neutral, but we can’t do it all at one time," Bell said.

The county’s other funds, aside from the primary general fund, look healthy for 2012, Gruen said.

The fire fund has nearly $2 million in reserves, and is operating on a $16.9 million budget, a decrease of about 2 percent from 2011.

The water and sewer fund, which is funded by county customers, will operate on a nearly $41 million budget, for an increase of about 5.5 percent from 2011.