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Troup County revenues ‘on track’

By Tyler H. Jones

tjones@civitasmedia.com

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LaGRANGE — The Troup County government is on budget for fiscal year 2016, according to the first-quarter financials presented to the Board of Commissioners on Tuesday.

Of the allotted $39.4 million budget, the county has spent about $8.8 million — about 22 percent — in the past four months, according to financials presented by Buddy Cashwell, the county’s chief financial officer. Revenues are slightly down, with the county taking in about $5.5 million so far during the fiscal year, but County Manager Tod Tentler said that’s normal.

“It’s because property tax bills just went out,” he said. “They are sent out in August and September, and they aren’t due until November.”

Right now, the county has taken in 7.5 percent — about $1.1 million — of the total taxes from real estate that it expects to collect during the fiscal year. After the collection of taxes in November, Tentler said he expects that number to spike to about 25 percent.

Overall, Tentler said he feels the county is doing well financially.

“I feel pretty good,” he said. “We’re keeping expenses down and we’re right on track with revenue. We’re in pretty good shape.”

The county coroner’s office was the department with the highest percent of its budget — 42.3 percent — already used. Most other departments averaged in the mid- to low 20s.

Commissioners on Tuesday also approved a memorandum of understanding with the Georgia Emergency Management Agency that provides for eight emergency shelters to be created in LaGrange in the event of catastrophes like hurricanes that may require mass evacuations.

With the exception of the Mike Daniel Recreation Center, all of the shelters would be housed in local churches. At total capacity, the eight shelters could serve as many as 1,800 people. The memorandum remains in effect until the beginning of September 2016 unless the county or GEMA terminates the agreement, which is allowed with 60 days written notice.

The equipment for the shelters — including weather radios, flashlights, cots and water containers — is provided to each shelter by GEMA.

Commissioners also voted to allow a beer and wine sales license for Sami Uddin, operator of the Pony Express Market at 1891 Vernon Road. Likewise, the commission granted a conditional use permit to Gurald Kemp of 1287 Lafayette Parkway to erect a digital, multi-message billboard on Lafayette Parkway. Kemp must also seek approval from the Georgia Department of Transportation.

Tyler H. Jones is a reporter at LaGrange Daily News. He may be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2155.