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VOL. 127 | NO. 99 | Monday, May 21, 2012

Commission Nears Budget Conclusion

By Bill Dries

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Shelby County Commissioners could end their budget season Monday, May 21, with votes on two budget resolutions.

One is a $1.1 billion consolidated operating budget. The other is a five-year Capital Improvements Plan (CIP) budget that totals $36.9 million in the first year – the fiscal year that begins July 1. The plan through June 30, 2017, totals $326.9 million.

Commissioners meet Monday at 1:30 p.m. at the Vasco Smith County Administration Building, 160 N. Main St.

Shelby County Commissioners could end their budget season Monday, May 21, with votes on two budget resolutions. 

(Daily News File Photo: Lance Murphey)

In committee sessions last week, commissioners added $872,000 in spending to the operating budget. More than half of it was $450,000 for a housing program for the homeless.

The additions to the operating budget are county funding for programs operated by private entities with the exception of $101,000 for a “veterans court” to have a docket for criminal cases involving military veterans. The changes had a seven-vote majority in committee.

The addition of the six new funding items means commissioners will likely be making other changes Monday to the budget to fund those items and keep the budget balanced. No county property tax hike has been proposed by the administration or any member of the commission.

The bulk of the funding in the first year’s CIP budget is $17 million for public works projects with another $11.5 million for county general government projects and $6.1 million for justice system projects. The remaining $2.1 million is a transfer of funding to the county debt service plan for reducing the county bond indebtedness.

The largest amount of money to pay for the projects – $15.2 million – is county funding from the “pay as you go” fund. Another $14.3 million is federal funding with $6.8 million transferred from county debt service. The remaining $571,756 comes from private donors and grants.

The largest public works project for fiscal 2013 is Fite Road construction between U.S. 51 and Woodstock Boulevard totaling $12.5 million. County funding is $2.5 million of that total. The 1.5 miles of new road would connect Fite Road from Woodstock Boulevard to Raleigh-Millington Road, a section built eight years ago.

There is also a $4.4 million extension of the Shelby Farms Greenline in the budget that includes $550,000 of county funding. The bulk of the funding, $3.1 million, would be spent in the next fiscal year for land acquisition to link 6.5 miles of the old CSX Railroad right of way to the end of the Greenline near Farm Road in Shelby Farms park and extend it to the old Cordova train station. The extension includes work on a design of a pedestrian and bicycle crossing of Germantown Parkway.

The first $1.3 million in construction funding for a $6.9 million renovation of the Criminal Justice Center at 201 Poplar Ave. is in the first year of the CIP. The renovations would replace the boilers and the HVAC system in the building that are more than 30 years old and are the original equipment from when the building opened in the 1980s. The renovations would also weatherproof the outside of the building which now has leakage problems in those parts that are below ground.

Renovation of the county administration building where the commission meets and has its offices along with the county mayor’s office would come in two future fiscal years – 2014 and 2015 – at a total cost of $8 million split evenly over the two years for a complete renovation of all floors in the nearly 50-year-old building.

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