By Tia Lynn Lecorchick staff writer

The Morgan County Board of Commissioners (BOC) unanimously voted to approve the recommended Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 budget totaling approximately $20,500,000, which includes a general fund budget of $14.9 million, a $866,262 increase from last year’s general fund budget. The proposed budget was prepared by Lori Sayer, financial director for the county. “It’s a sound budget,” said Andy Ainslie, chairman of the BOC. According to Michael Lamar, county manager, some of the changes to this year’s budget include the purchase of four sheriff vehicles, the addition of a sheriff’s deputy, and two part-time firefighters becoming full-time.

The budget also set aside money to assist the Morgan Memorial Hospital in the recruiting a physician. Lamar also noted that the county is absorbing a 15 percent increase in their health insurance costs. “The biggest improvement in the budget is that the values on properties have increased throughout the county, but are still no where near their highest point, which was somewhere around 2008 or 2009,” explained Lamar. “We appreciate Michael, because he always saves a lot of money,” said Ainslie. The BOC also voted to renew the county’s contract with Aetna for health insurance for FY 2015, which includes a 15 percent increase, amounting to a $95,188 monthly payment.

The BOC also approved the Mobile Communications Service Agreement to renew the maintenance contract for the 911 radio equipment, which costs $13,476 per year. The board approved the addendum to the contract service arrangement agreement for software between AT&T and the Morgan County Emergency 911 and approved the Emergency Medical Services Licensure application. The BOC also approved the Georgia Indigent Defense Services Agreement for FY 2015. The BOC also approved several other items including the renewal of the employment contract for Lamar as county manager, the appointments of Kassandra Andrews to the Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS Board) and James David Bentley to the NEGA Regional Development Commission Council; and the reappointments of Karen Robertson and Angie Sims to the Morgan County Family Connection Board, Bonnie Hickey to the Morgan County Library Board, Russell Carter to the Morgan County Recreation Board, and Shana Stubbs to the NEGA Regional 10 Emergency Medical Service Advisory Board.