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Friday February 12th, 2016 2:43AM

Hall Commissioners skeptical on budget requests

By Jerry Gunn Reporter
GAINESVILLE - Two Hall County department heads hoping to hire full time employees and get more operating funds learned their budget requests were a 'tough sell' before county commissioners Wednesday.

County Commissioner Craig Lutz told Library System Director Adrian Mixson that it's going to be another lean budget year.

"You're not in a very enviable position right now," Lutz said. "We're looking at another $7.5-million gap between the wants and needs of the county and what the revenue looks like. It's a situation now where anything else that we do, it's tax increase or furloughs, or reducing retirement again or taking it from another department."

Hall County Clerk of Courts Charles Baker asked commissioners for more money to hire a full time employee to help handle his increased work load, partly the effect of state legislation.

"With all the additional duties we've taken on in the Clerk's Office, I simply want to take a part timer out and get a full time position," Baker said.

Mixson said he wants to take his workers off furlough, he needs employees to keep all the libraries open, and more money for books. Because of escalating state insurance costs, Commissioner Scott Gibbs suggested making library employees county employees.

"I think it would offset the insurance cost and if you're operating under our umbrella I think it's the simplest thing for everyone," Gibbs said.

Mixson replied that there are benefits to being funding through the state, and benefits to being funded through the county and it may not always be a cost saver.

"Revenues are again going to be down this year," Gibbs said. "The income is not there to offset the expenses, the revenue is going down but expenses are going up."
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