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Bell: Clayton's projected revenues down for 2012

Photo by Heather Middleton

Photo by Heather Middleton

By Curt Yeomans

cyeomans@news-daily.com

Revenues for Clayton County's government could be down as much as $23 million in fiscal year 2012, said the chairman of the county's Board of Commissioners.

According to Commission Chairman Eldrin Bell, revenues for the county's annual budget typically average $168 million per year. But, he said, they are projected to be "much lower" -- possibly down to just over $140 million -- in the upcoming fiscal year. He said expenditures are still being determined for the next year's budget, so he could not provide a figure for how much the county will end up spending.

Still, with the projected drop in revenues, Bell did not rule out the possibility of furlough days for county employees, much like the furlough days that were to be implemented during the current fiscal year, in an effort to save the county $1.5 million.

The chairman said he is opposed to raising the county's property taxes to make up for the expected drop in revenues, however.

"At the moment, I'm not looking at that as an option," he said. "A lot of people are still teetering on the edge of foreclosure. We ought to try living within our means right now, before we go to the people for more money."

The Board of Commissioners is scheduled to unveil the county's proposed fiscal year 2012 budget early next week, according to a written announcement from the county commission.

The commission has announced that Clayton County residents will be able to review the proposed budget, beginning June 14, from 9 a.m., to 6 p.m., each day, at five branches of the Clayton County Library System.

The commission also announced it will hold a budget hearing, where residents can give public input on the proposed budget, on June 21, at 6 p.m., in the meeting room at the Clayton County Board of Commissioners building, at 112 Smith St., in Jonesboro.

That meeting will be held before the commission's regularly scheduled meeting, at 7 p.m., at the same location.

Residents will be able to voice their opinions on the budget through both written and oral comments during the budget hearing, according to the commission's written announcement.

The county's 2012 fiscal year begins July 1, and runs through June 30, 2012.

The library branches, where copies of the budget will be available for public review, include:

* The Jonesboro Branch, at 124 Smith St., in Jonesboro.

* The Headquarters Branch, at 865 Battle Creek Road, in Jonesboro.

* The Lovejoy Branch, at 1721 McDonough Road, in Hampton.

* The Morrow Branch, at 6225 Maddox Road, in Morrow.

* The Riverdale Branch, at 420 Valley Hill Road, S.W., in Riverdale.