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No significant change in county revenue

Chilton County Commission chairman Tim Mims expects little change in the county’s budget situation as he looks ahead to a new fiscal year.

Yearly revenues as of Friday totaled just more than $13.24 million, which is no significant change from last year’s revenue up to the same point at $13.34 million, the commission’s office reported.

Mims’ goal is much the same as it was last year — to not borrow any money.

“Hopefully, we’re going to get through this year without borrowing any money,” he said Friday.

Seeing that each department stayed within its budget was key to the commission accomplishing this goal last year, Mims said. He said Chilton County Sheriff Kevin Davis was doing “a good job” and added that “everything is working better than expected right now.”

Every department faced cuts going into the 2009-2010 budget. The current fiscal year’s budget exceeded $15 million. The Road Department was hit the hardest by far, Mims said, and the winter rainfall and freezing conditions didn’t help the situation. This resulted in an outpouring of complaints at nearly every commission meeting.

In the past two years, the commission has proposed a variety of ways to increase revenue, including setting county business license fees and imposing a 1-cent sales tax. Planning is currently underway for public hearings for the purpose of gathering input about a 1-cent sales tax.

Feedback at commission meetings has been somewhat positive regarding the tax, but few have spoken up about the issue at meetings. Legislators have said the timing is not right due to the economy.

Meanwhile, County Administrator Vanessa Hendrick sang a similar tune as Mims.

“I don’t see a huge drop in gas taxes or funding,” she said. “I don’t see any huge difference in the budget next year.”