LIVE OAK — The millage rate in Suwannee County won’t be going up.
The Suwannee County Board of County Commissioners voted at its July 2 meeting to keep the rate at 9 mills.
The rate can not be raised from that proposed rate, although it could be lowered during the budgeting process.
What should Suwannee County do with its millage rate?
The county’s millage rate has been at 9 mills the past six years.
Clerk of Court Barry Baker told the board Tuesday that the county’s current rollback rate, or the tax rate that will provide the same amount of tax revenue as the previous year’s rate, is 8.834 mills.
According to Baker, the current gross taxable value in the county is $1,970,785,733. So each mill generates approximately $1,970,786.
Chairman Ricky Gamble said he was fine with the board leaving it alone, something the rest of the board agreed with as it unanimously approved keeping the rate unchanged.
“We’ve done that the past several years,” Gamble said.
County receives clean audit
The county, which also includes all of the constitutional officers, also received a clean audit from Richard Powell at the meeting.
Powell, with Powell and Jones CPA, said the county had $9,537,989 in its general fund balance at the end of the fiscal year. That is enough to cover between five and six months of operating expenses.
“I can remember when that was much lower,” Powell said. “Now that’s up to a very acceptable level.”
According to Powell, the general fund’s balance increased by $1,183,168 over the beginning of the year.
Powell did advise the board that through a net loss in its solid waste collection fund as well as depreciation, there was a cash loss of nearly $240,000. He did say, though, there was adequate reserves.
“So, overall I would say you were stronger at the end of the year than at the beginning of the year,” Powell said. “If there’s any area you should monitor, especially through the next budget cycle, would be the solid waste funds.”
Powell also commended the county staff for not having any findings despite the large amount of grant activity — $1,550,000 in federal grants and $9,129,932 in state grants.
“I appreciate all the had work you do,” Commissioner Ronnie Richardson said. “It gives me a headache just going over this book.
“But I like the conclusion when you come up and say there’s no findings.”
Radio system workshop set
After discussing the topic at its previous regular board meeting as well as a special called meeting without coming to an agreement, the board set a workshop to further discuss — and hopefully, negotiate — the purchase of a new radio system for the Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office and Suwannee County Fire Rescue.
The board set that workshop for Aug. 13 at 11 a.m. in the Judicial Annex. That date is tentative, depending on the availability of representatives of Williams Communications, the radio provider for the state system.
County Administrator Randy Harris told the board that the county would budget appropriately during the upcoming budget process regardless of what happens at that workshop.
“You’re not under pressure to make a quick decision with this company or with the number of units or anything else,” Harris said. “We’ll be prepared for that regardless.”
Meeting date changed
The board’s second meeting for the month will be held Monday, July 15, at 6 p.m. in the Judicial Annex instead of on Tuesday, July 16.