City, county adopt 2012-13 budget
By Jody O'Hara
Sep 20, 2012, 11:03
WIGGINS - Both the City of Wiggins Board of Alderman and the Stone County Board of Supervisors adopted budgets for the upcoming fiscal year last week.
The county budget dropped just a little more than $4 million.
The drop was attributable to the county's four storm shelters' completion and their construction costs having been removed from the budget.
Last year's budget totaled $20,106,431 while the new budget is set at $16,071,540.
"It's tough to make ends meet, but we didn't lay people off and we didn't raise millage," said board president Scott Strickland. "After 2013 we'll have paid off some notes we've been paying on for a while and we'd like to think that will make budgeting somewhat easier."
At the same time, the county will go through property reassessment in 2013 and a decrease in property values could throw a wrench in the budgeting works.
The City of Wiggins budget is $3,778,844, a $183,238 increase over last year.
The city's budget also included a 2.9 mill tax increase.
The increase in ad valorem taxes will help in retiring debt taken on when the police department was moved to the former Wiggins Clinic.
The city also intends to replace badly dilapidated heavy equipment.
One piece of equipment, a trasiler-mounted, high-pressure device for blowing out blockages in sewer lines, led to questions about the legality of raising general fund revenues for a water department purchase.
State law requires water and sewer to be self sufficient.
Ward 2 Alderman Gene Alexander questioned whether the board was doing the right thing in purchasing equipment for the water department with the tax increase.
Ward 1 Alderman Darrell Berry said he believed the equipment would be used for other purposes and not the water department would not have sole use of it.
After discussion, the board voted unanimously to adopt the budget.
© Copyright 2005