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County officials continue work on new budget

By By Steve Gillespie/The Meridian Star
Aug. 23, 2001
Lauderdale County administrator Rex Hiatt spent Wednesday calculating possible revenue and expenditures for the county's 2002 fiscal year that starts Oct. 1.
Hiatt said the county's goal is to "adopt a budget without a tax increase."
County department heads met with supervisors last week to submit their budget requests. The county must approve a final budget before the start of the next fiscal year.
Traditionally, the largest share of the county budget is devoted the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department and public works which includes roads and sanitation. Both of those departments are hoping to upgrade equipment.
Maj. Ward Calhoun of the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department said the department wants to purchase 10 new patrol cars.
Calhoun said that, on the average, department cars are 4 years old and have more than 113,000 miles. The department has 31 marked patrol units. Three of the older ones have been used as spare vehicles, but only one of them is currently in operation.
Each car averages about 28,347 miles per year, Calhoun said.
Neal Carson, Lauderdale County engineer, said his agency also would like to replace older equipment.
Carson said the department needs new bush hogs and bush hog tractors. "Some dump trucks are getting old and we need to replace some of them," he said.
No date has been set for a public hearing on the proposed budget.
Steve Gillespie is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3233, or e-mail him at sgillespie@themeridianstar.com.