By DOTTY NIST
Walton County’s final budget for the new fiscal year was approved by county commissioners at the second of two budget hearings on Sept. 23 at the Walton County Courthouse.
A budget in the amount of $109,650,399 was approved, which includes $560,369 for North Walton Mosquito Control.
A millage rate of 3.5563 mills was approved for the 2013-14 fiscal year, the same as the rate for the current fiscal year. The millage rate for North Walton Mosquito Control is to also remain the same at 0.4912 mill.
This brings the aggregate countywide millage rate to 3.5997 mills, representing a rate 2.71 percent higher than the rolled-back rate of 3.5046 mills.
The rolled-back rate is the one that would result in essentially the same amount of ad valorem taxes being collected as in the current fiscal year.
Walton County Administrator Larry Jones thanked representatives of county departments and divisions in attendance for finding ways to trim their individual budgets since the county’s first budget hearing two weeks earlier. Due to these reductions, Jones reported, the county would be able to maintain between $9 and $10 million in general fund reserves, plus keep $106,000 in the budget to pay for a Walton County Health Department mobile unit, along with $26,123 to fund Saturday operation of county libraries. The mobile unit is to provide health care services in the rural communities of Mossy Head, Paxton, and the valley.
There was no public comment at the final budget hearing, and votes on the budget amount and millage rate were unanimous.