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County continues budget crunching
Department heads narrow gap by $4M
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Forsyth County News

FORSYTH COUNTY — Thanks to continuing work by department heads over the past couple weeks, Forsyth County’s numbers for the 2015 budget continue to come down.

David Gruen, the county’s chief financial officer, told commissioners during a work session Tuesday that projected expenditures for the 2015 general fund total about $97.6 million.

That’s about $4 million less than the $102.1 million that Gruen originally projected two weeks ago when commissioners got their first look at a tentative budget.

“The finance committee met last Wednesday, the 18th, I think with the express goal of recommendations they can make to the full board to bring, particularly the general fund, into balance,” Gruen told the commissioners.

He said a large percentage of the reduction comes from moving all new capital items that staff members have requested for 2015 to be funded by the capital outlay fund, rather than the general fund.

Those items, Gruen said, came to about $3.4 million.

“So that helps bring that number down substantially,” he said.

Another reduction comes from costs associated with worker’s compensation and other general liability insurance.

“We did not need as much funding to those two funds,” Gruen said. “Those two funds have very strong reserves.”

Projected revenues for the 2015 general fund stand at $100.8 million.

On June 19, commissioners signed off on maintaining the same millage rates the county has had for the past couple of years.

Those rates are 4.812 mills for maintenance and operations, 1.975 for fire, and 0.869 for bond, making the total Forsyth County millage rate 7.656.

That figure does not include millage levied by the Forsyth County Board of Education, which sets a separate millage rate each year for the local school system.

Public hearings on the county’s portion of the millage rate and its budget are set for 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. July 3 and 6 p.m. July 17 in the county administration building.