The Union County Board of Supervisors approved its 2020-2021 budget Sept. 8 with no increase to the tax rate.

The new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

“There’s no tax increase,” said County Administrator Terry Johnson. “I guess that’s the most important thing.”

However, Johnson said there is a tax decrease for those in the Town Creek Master Water Management District. The water district’s millage is dropping from 6.75 mills to 0 mills, Johnson said.

The district, which is on the east side of Union County, apparently has plenty of funds on hand for the upcoming fiscal year.

The budget also included a $50 per month pay raise for county employees.

The new budget is about 3 percent more than the prior year, Johnson said.

The $37.6 million budget, includes several “big ticket” items, according to Johnson. One of those is a new 911 dispatch center for $768,000, which will mainly be paid for through a USDA Rural Development loan. The county has applied for the loan but has not yet been approved.

Also, there will be two new bridges constructed in District 2 on County Road 46 for a total of $2.3 million. Those are being paid for with the Emergency Road and Bridge Repair fund.

Then there is $345,000 budgeted for a courthouse renovation project. The project is partially being funded with a community heritage preservation grant of $196,000 from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. The county is required to at least match $49,000 for the project.  

The county took bids for the courthouse project, and the lowest acceptable bid was $508,000. The county rejected all bids on the project, which involved restoring the windows, fixing the steps, doing brick work and putting a new roof on the old jail.

And there is $732,000 in the budget to install utilities at the Martintown NORTH industrial park across from the Walmart Distribution Center on State Highway 30 West. The utilities to be installed are water, sewer and natural gas. That will be paid for with grants from the Mississippi Development Authority and the Delta Regional Authority.

A chip spreader for road paving work is in the budget for $300,000. A fire truck is also in the budget for close to $300,000 as well as a garbage truck for $155,000.

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