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County draws up leaner budget
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Effingham County commissioners are working on a budget for fiscal year 2011 that will be substantially smaller than the current operational plan.

Commissioners reviewed a first draft of the budget, expected to be approved in June, on Tuesday.

“Our budget is less than previous year’s budget,” said County Administrator David Crawley. “We are reducing the amount of money we are spending each year. The point is, we are cutting the budget.”

The current budget is $30.002 million, down from $30.1 million for FY09. The draft budget calls for $28.68 million in spending, with $28.14 million in revenues.

The county also anticipates using some of its fund balance to balance the FY11 budget.

“We worked very hard on it with the department heads,” said county finance director Joanna Wright.

The county’s portion of the millage rate has decreased every year since 2005 from 10.127 to 8.352 for 2010.

Commissioner Bob Brantley said nearly every department head has come to the commissioners with a drastically reduced request for the next fiscal year.

“And at the same time, the demand for their services has gone up,” Crawley said. “The demand for social services has gone up.”