Lamar County crunches numbers for 2012 budget - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Lamar County crunches numbers for 2012 budget

LAMAR COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - City and county leaders across the Pine Belt are busy crunching numbers to prepare for the fiscal year ahead. In Lamar County, officials are positive that 2012 will be just as stable as 2011.

County Administrator Chuck Bennett said, "Everything looks good as it is now. Of course we are always conservative, we always understand the times that we are in. We try to be very good stewards."

County expenses will be about $38 million in the upcoming year, about $2.5 million more than last year. The increase, according to Bennett, is mainly the cost of new infrastructure.

"You are looking at 8, 9, or 10 percent increase in expenditures but no increase in revenues."

Bennett said the county is still growing, but not quite as fast as it once was. Assessed value has reached $488 million, a $5 million increase from last year.

"I believe our board and staff has done a really good job at paying off debts and other things" said Bennett.  "We will start the year with less than $7 million in debt, and that is a huge decrease in our debt to assessed value ratio."

Before the Board of Supervisors approves the final budget, county leaders will hold a public hearing on Tuesday Sep. 6, at 11 am.

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