Bradley County Commission members got a heavy piece of homework assigned to them Monday night.
County Mayor D. Gary Davis passed out a volume of pages weighing several pounds and having a handle attached.
It was a compilation of the budget requests of county departments and it signaled the start of the annual budget process.
“Overall, I think this is a good budget,” Davis told commissioners. “Our departments seemed to realize these are still tough times.”
He said the requests show an increase of 2 percent over last year totaling $669,000.
Davis said the top two requested increases percentage-wise came from the reappraisal program and Life Bridges.
The next reappraisal cycle for the county will be in 2017; however, the assessor’s staff is required by law to continue to review properties in between assessment years, and there is much work required to prepare for the next scheduled assessment.
In terms of dollars, Davis said emergency and medical services as well as the Sheriff’s Office show the largest requests.
“I think you should know that there were departments whose requests decreased from last year,” he said. “They saw and identified what they did not need.”
The mayor gave a glimmer of hope to taxpayers the property tax rates may not be affected.
“The [current] property taxes look like they are going to meet the budget,” Davis said.
The finance committee will discuss the requests during a meeting on April 30.
Budget hearings will be held on May 8 and May 12.
“There’s going to be a lot of work over the next two months by a lot of people,” Davis said.
The finance committee will meet Wednesday at noon in the county mayor’s conference room.
Third District Commissioner Jeff Morelock asked that a resolution be passed to honor Bradley County Chief Deputy Wayne Bird, who recently died three weeks after discovering he had an aggressive form of cancer.
The motion passed the Commission with a unanimous vote.
The Commission will next meet in a full work session Monday, April 14, at noon in the Commission meeting room at the County Courthouse.