Newton County adopts FY19 Budget
Newton County’s operating budget for the fiscal year 2019 was approved during the Aug. 21 Regular Meeting of the Board of Commissioners.
The Newton County Board of Commissioners (BOC) unanimously approved the $64,831,066 budget and did not raise the millage rate to do so. The balanced 2019 budget features an additional $5,314,546 of revenue than in the fiscal year 2018 with a majority of those funds going toward additional public safety personnel.
In the coming year, the Newton County Sheriff’s Office will be able to hire 10 deputies and nine jail operations staff members while fire services will look to bring on 12 new employees. That will be a significant boost to Newton County’s public safety workforce. In total there will be 48 new positions for FY2019, including two in code enforcement.
Newton County’s workforce was a focal point in the new budget with employees being brought up to market pay levels in order to retain a strong workforce and recruit quality candidates to Newton County.
“Now that we are experiencing renewed growth and the funding challenges are reduced, the BOC is honoring its commitment to improving salaries via market-based increases for all departments, at all levels,” said County Manager Lloyd Kerr in the budget letter to commissioners. “This is a continuation of a multi-year approach to position Newton County as a preferred employer.”
The BOC worked with Kerr and Newton County Finance Director Nicole Cross through several iterations of the budget in order to continue to provide Newton County with a strong workforce while not increasing the county’s millage rate of 13.441.
“It took three months and a lot of iterations of the budget and I feel like all of us worked hard to find common ground,” said District 3 Commissioner Nancy Schulz. “I’d like to thank the people on this board for working together and finding that common ground.”
“This board demonstrated a propensity to rethink scenarios and push in the direction of fiscal responsibility,” said District 1 Commissioner Stan Edwards. “And I’m very proud to say I believed this board accomplished that.”