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Troup County BOC approves budget, discusses American Rescue Plan

During a called meeting on Tuesday, the Troup County Board of Commissioners approved a budget of $45,415,800 for fiscal year 2022. This is an increase of $1,150,274 from the Fiscal Year 2021 amended budget.

The two biggest increases in spending are for public safety ($776,693 more) and culture and recreation ($755,583 more). The two biggest decreases in spending are for general government purposes ($393,352 less) and public works ($362,165 less).

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 was also discussed.

“The county has received approximately $6.7 million in this round of funding. And that being said, the federal government really will not provide their final guidance on that, we probably think probably not until August,” County Manager Eric Mosley said.  “I really don’t want to spend a penny of that money yet until we have a very clear understanding of how that money is to be spent and accounted for.”

Mosley said there was plenty of “low-hanging fruit” the county could possibly address with the money, such as jail expenses, sanitation expenses, fire department expenses and other public safety expenses.

“We’re certainly beginning to look at those and make plans for those. What we’ll be coming to you to ask is, not only will we ask you to accept it, but also give us the formal authority to go ahead and move forward with developing a plan that we will then submit to you guys before we actually kick it in gear,” Mosley said.

He suggested that some of the money be used to “drive down the cost of operating the county.”

“Air circulation and air purification are one of those measures that is mentioned in the documentation, and parks and recreation, the fire department, the government center, the jail certainly spend a lot of money on conditioning air for the participants inside,” he said. And so, we therefore… we think we could use that money to purchase better equipment that will then draw down the operating costs of that department, and overall, the county as a whole.”