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Commission approves trimmed budget

By By ROBERT BLANKENSHIP – Managing Editor
The Escambia County Commission approved a trimmed-down budget for the upcoming fiscal year during a regular meeting on Monday.
All funding combined, the fiscal year 2003 budget reaches almost $10 million. However, it is about $300,000 less than last year's budget.
According to Commission Chairman Larry White, the new budget reflects additional spending for merit raises which are awarded every two years. It also reflects a decrease in oil and gas severance funds.
White also said there was no money available for repaving projects, only for patching and other similar repairs. Some repaving will be done through state funding.
District 2 Commissioner Todd Williamson said the county has been able to curtail spending without making any substantial cuts in services.
In the general fund, the county looks to bring in about $1.36 million in tax revenue, $1.29 million in intergovernmental fees and $1.28 million in service charges. They county expects a total of $5,563,682 to be generated in the general fund.
The major expenditure under the general fund is general government operations, which includes salaries. The county expects to spend about $2.46 million during the fiscal year to keep the government working.
Also under the general fund, the county expects to spend $2,410,914 for public safety. This will include money designated for the sheriff's office.
Total expenditures under the general fund equals $5,561,379, about $2,000 under expected revenue intake.
In other areas, the county has budgeted: roads and bridges, $2.92 million; public buildings fund, $610,682; reappraisal, $424,937; transportation, $232,660; work release, $27,727; aging program, $127,207; RSVP, $93,879.
All of the commissioners expressed their appreciation to County Administrator Tony Sanks who oversees work on the budget.
In other business the commission discussed: