The county commission met at their regular meeting on Thursday for just more than 30 minutes, much shorter than usual. The meeting started with a short agenda, and four items were either postponed to later meetings or withdrawn.
All votes were 4-0, with Commissioner Todd Levent absent, unless otherwise noted.
The commission voted to approve the rezoning of 6.7 acres on Matt Highway (Hwy. 369) for applicant Howard Hobby from agriculture district, A1, to commercial business district, CBD, for mini-warehouses and parking, along with a conditional use permit for an open storage yard.
Commissioners voted to rezone 1.3 acres on Buford Highway (Hwy. 20) near the intersection with Sanders Road from single-family residential district, R2, to office and industrial, O & I. The development will be used for a dentist’s office.
During the meeting, commissioners recognized retiring Public Facilities Director David Thornton. Thornton worked with the county for eight years and will officially retire on July 1.
FORSYTH COUNTY – Forsyth County’s finance committee went into a meeting on Thursday with an already balanced 2017 budget and proceeded to cut expenditures even more.
For months, the committee and county staff have met to refine and reduce budget items for next year.
“We have worked through all of the items on the list on both the new budget item list and the capital replacement item list,” County Manager Doug Derrer said. “What we bring to you today, although it is heavily modified, is a balanced budget.”
During the meeting, there were several “open” items still on the budget, which had neither been recommended by the committee nor removed.
For new budget items in the general fund, salary increases for state court judges and the county solicitor were removed for a savings of about $16,872.
New items and positions that will be discussed later were for an assistant solicitor, deputy county manager, and a specialist for the process of the county potentially joining the federal department of Housing and Urban Development.
In capital replacement items, maintenance to the Barker house was cut in half and a request for a new van for criminal transport was removed, though some funding will be given for repairs. Those reductions saved about $44,500.
New cars and insurance for the sheriff’s office was approved, as was a funding for the Dial-a-ride program. The committee will discuss replacing computers for the sheriff’s office, sheriff’s radio upgrades and a potential change for salaries at a later date.
Some committee members favored not using those saved funds for any other new projects.
Another change will stabilize funding for the elections department, rather than fluctuating between election and non-election years.
Dave Gruen, chief financial officer for the county, said the county is expected to bring in about $116.4 million in general fund revenues.
Taxes are not expected to increase this year, and the county’s millage rate will likely stay at 8.036 mills — the same as this year.
The budget committee comprises Gruen, Doug Derrer and Commissioners Pete Amos, Brian Tam, Todd Levent and Cindy Jones Mills.
The budget will come back before commissioners during their June 28 meeting.