Board of County Commissioners

4th Budget Workshop

August 19, 2021

4:00 p.m.


Present:               Brenda Holt, Chair, District 4

Dr. Anthony “Dr. V” Viegbesie, Vice Chair, District 2

                                Eric Hinson, District 1

                                Kimblin NeSmith, District 3

                                Ronterious “Ron” Green, District 5

                                Edward J. Dixon, County Administrator

                                Clayton Knowles, County Attorney

                                Marcella Blocker, Deputy Clerk

                                Sara Green, Clerk’s Office



    Chair calls workshop to order.   



Due to COVID-19 and the efforts of the Gadsden County Board of County Commissioners to continue the practice of social distancing, Commissioners want to continue to hear from citizens under the Citizens Requesting to be Heard section of the agenda.

If citizens have any questions, comments, or concerns, please email and anticipate receiving a response within 48 hours.

The Board of County Commissioners would like to thank everyone for their patience and flexibility during this time.



  Commissioner Green read the above statement. 




  Co. Administrator describes purpose of workshop. Address budget so we can meet all the dates.

Looking at requests from members from neighborhood lighting to roadtape/striping/open space/increase of mowing capacity. Internal improvements. Get payments out faster. Maintenance schedule.






   Assistant Administrator Mrs. Daniels introduced the proposed budget. Had a 7.9% property increase this year/evaluations. Based on 9 Millage we would generate 14.7 million dollars in revenue from that. Cannot budget for the entire amount the county would generate. Can budget for 95% of that. About $1million increase in additional revenue with the 9 mills. Can’t raise millage but can lower it.

Decrease in telecomution tax. Decrease in indigent tax. About 327k in other revenues/emergent sales tax. Net $1.4million dollar increase in revenue from last year.

  NeSmith asked about the $.9 revenue. Bring about 245k dollars in annually.

  Green asked what maximum gas tax could be. (listen to audio for her answer, detailed/confusing)

Can only be   

  Chair Holt asked for sheet regarding taxes and where they go. Where’s money generated from? Answer, trucking industry is baring the brunt.

  Co. Admin. Says Flying J and Pilot/new one are main generator.  60-70% of gas tax.

  Dr. V- does the gas surcharge have to come through a referendum/super majority?

  Can now be voted on by BOCC but has to be a supermajority plus one.

  NeSmith- applies to which taxes? Local gas tax and the .9 tax. Maxed on diesel.

  Page 4. Recommendations based on new millage rate. Made assumption no raises for BOCC staff and constitutional officers bc of pandemic, doesn’t know who is going to be affected by the pandemic (citizens) and not able to pay property taxes.

    Dr. V points out BOCC raises are state based.

  Daniels- 110k for ADA voting equipment.

  Clerk’s office to be paid by property appraiser.

  Property appraiser needs an IT guy.

  Green- with increase dedicate to hire other staff? Not the cost of a full position but have combined some duties so monies would allow duties to be combined and have someone be dedicated to IT.

   Dr. V- Requests comparison column for next meeting regarding millage rates.

  NeSmith asks for clarification on $140k IT/Clerk

  Setting aside money for future revenue/capital items. $150k

  Dr. V-able to use $150k in future for municipality who had issue regarding monies not being paid.

   Hinson- hiring persons came from CARES? Yes but have to pay them in the future. Continues to try to understand. Daniels- Funding in CARES stays in fund. Hinson suggests putting hiring off until October 1st to not “comingle” with other funds. Sidebars. Hinson says positions that were not approved were advertised. Dixon says that’s incorrect.

  Dr. V- says board decided to call position gov. operations coordinator. If position is mis-titled then pull it and retitle it.
  Commissioner Green- regardless of title, we’ve approved position.

  Holt- look at millage rate? Suggestions?

  Dr. V- each comis. Meet with Co. AD and submit concerns/interests.  Should have been doing that, no need to discuss today.

  Holt was referring to errors.

  Hinson sidebar about open communication.

  NeSmith encourages all commissioners to meet with Co. Admin. Reinforces “our population impacts our budget”

  Green- last time we had an increase on the local gas tax.

  Mr. Thomas- .6 cent goes back to the 90’s. Renewed just a few years ago.  

    Dr. V- the numbers we have now are the numbers that are to be used for the budget for next year. Attorney have better understanding of things we can do to make this better for next go round.

  Clayton- ways to challenge census data. Census estimated our population would increase by 11% and UF suggested a 6% increase. Gadsden has heir property/ag/minorities, so those folks don’t get counted if their house looks inhabitable. Mr. Doughty is happy to parse through data of census to challenge numbers. 16% discrepancy is curious. Every town saw a decrease aside from midway and Quincy. Have 90 days to challenge numbers.

  Chair Holt- if you do challenge, set aside funds for that. Can always put it back. May have people living in homes with relatives that were counted. Dr. V agrees and sees it as an investment for the next 5+ years.

  NeSmith- if board challenges census numbers, can we pause current numbers based on last numbers? Clayton says not to his knowledge. Dixon says they won’t stop it but they become part of every walk of life so need to review them now. (Representatives, federal revenue etc.) Asks what the mechanism is (if there is one) to follow population from year to year. Dixon refers to VEBER (?) provides the state for numbers. Can ask specifically for numbers/updates of population. Mechanisms in Gadsden County?

  Holt says you look where people go (jails, tag office, etc) need to collect the data and get an idea.

  Dr. V- get people more involved in local gov.

  Hinson- agrees decline of census is bc of COVID in communities. Mentions loss of Chat. High school, threat of elementary, decline in workers at Chat. Hospital contributes to population decline but Havana/Midway is growing. Budget for senior citizens? Dixon says yes.

  Daniels states if not on spreadsheet, then there was not an increase/decrease.

  Hinson- $1200 to public works? Dixon says every county employee, it’s in the budget.

  Holt-concerned about funding for jail, needs to be set aside so they can look more in depth at it. Even if that means changing who runs it.  Economic development money needs to be set aside, pay for trips to find new businesses.

  NeSmith- assessment for what it’d cost to bring jail up to standards they want?

  Holt- federal lobbyist came and $43million was estimated years ago. Should set aside money every year.

  Dixon- COVID changed how to look at renovations. Now need quarantine area, etc. 

   NeSmith- how much is currently in new budget is for BOCC economic development? Holt says they don’t set money aside for that, have to go out and tell people county is here.

  Green-able to get number on phases to renovate? Holt says you’d have to have someone specialized in it.

  Hinson- says work program helped decrease in incarcerated population. Suggests subcontractors for lawn/mowing care since jail can’t due to COVID.


Holt stepped out at 5:31


Hinson suggests commissioner aids for 2 years; sees it as training opportunity?

Holt returned at 5:33


Salary come from American Rescue Fund.    


  Holt- infrastructure funds need to be discussed, empty space at hospital may qualify. Encourage another hospital to enter the area. Gas tax, what are local agencies receiving from that? New rules for supervisor of elections if any? Annexations, CRA’s, what are responsibilities of comiss. Vs them. Example: Roads of them, who takes care of them. 

  Dr. V- have annexations by cities of unincorporated been selective or total annexation in regards to maintenance? Holt refers to midway and argument over county vs city roads. Depends on how it was done and how it was stated.

  Hinson- Jobs, need to be having meetings regarding jobs/things that impact the whole county. Need to reinvest in Midway and Havana, purchase land to control the flow of commutes. Bring revenue/jobs to Chattahoochee too.

  Holt-At least 2 people on the budget, is there? Dixon, yes but having trouble finding. Money for Sheriff. Given out order but need people to carry. Tax increase, gas taxes in Midway, need to see what it’s looking like in other area besides Midway.

  Hinson-Teachers/pd, look into how to increase wages to keep them around. Needs it in writing to only use for wages.

  Holt- never going to be able to compete to Tally bc they have money regarding law enforcement.


Dr. V stepped out at 5:49




V returned at 5:49


  NeSmith- need revenues to provide services.

   Green- things were last raised in the 90s then we’ll look like the 90’s.

  Dr. V- Seriously need to look at coming up with regional growth planning bc other counties are putting the effort in. Work with other counties to retain citizens and grow as well. Can’t do this by ourselves. Recovery and Resilience needs to be added to the economic plan. Holt: need larger busses so look at federal dollars for that as stated the other day in the workshop.

  Clayton- 0.6 cent fuel tax was 1985-2015 and extended in 2015-2024.

  Dr. V- Can you revise before 2024. Dixon says you don’t want to bother that one but rather the new .6 cent tax. Need to communicate and convey that working regional development is not an attempt to take county over.





Summary Highlights

·         Ad Valorem Tax Revenue Summary



·         Major Revenue Sources Update



·         Potential Revenue Options



·         Enhancement/Reduction Summary



Board of County Commissioners Priorities and Direction







  Motion for adjournment by V, seconded by Holt. 














Adjourned at 6:00 p.m.





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