Bartow County Commissioner Steve Taylor called a special public hearing Wednesday to unveil the proposed budget for 2018.
The $127 million budget includes more than $23 million to fund the sheriff's office, $10.4 million for the fire department, $7.7 million for the roads department and $4.6 million for emergency medical services.
"I'm very happy with the budget," Taylor said. "It's just about what I expected. Health costs and pensions contributed most to higher costs, but there is just nothing you can do much about it unless you want to put the burden on the employees. We offer a good benefits package because we want to keep our people here. We have to compete with the private sector in recruiting, so we do everything we can to keep them here with us."
Most of the money, $79 million, is derived from the general fund, while four other funds — enterprise, two special revenue funds and debt service — combined with the general fund brought in $127.3 million in revenues.
Taylor said he will adopt the final version of the budget at a public meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 14 at 10 a.m. in the Commissioner's Conference Room, 135 West Cherokee Avenue.
The Commissioner's regular public meeting followed the budget hearing.
Taylor approved a request to remove an unused county roadway in Cassville.
"Back before the Civil War, the county courthouse was situated in Cassville," said Janice Wynn, who owns property on both sides of the old roadway. "During the war, the courthouse was burned, but the foundation and the road, named 'Courthouse Square,' which runs from Cassville Road to Confederate Avenue remained intact."
Wynn said her family has maintained the old roadway and asked that the county deed it to them.
In other business, Taylor:
• Approved a $614,592 lease agreement from the sheriff's office to purchase body armor and video equipment.
• Approved the purchase of a landfill compactor for $939,150.
• Awarded a $25 million contract to Wright Brothers Construction to be the general contractor for the LakePoint Parkway, which will connect the north and south ends of the complex.
• Approved three applications for retail alcohol licenses.
The Commissioner will hold a public meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 14, at 10 a.m. in the Commissioner's Conference Room, 135 West Cherokee Avenue, Cartersville.