Dougherty County approves budget with millage rate increase

Dougherty County Police Chief Don Cheek addressed the commission about commissioner Ewel Lyle's recommendation to relocate the Dougherty County Police to the Sheriff's offices. / Ashley Knight

The Dougherty County Commission voted four to two in favor of a budget that will increase the millage rate in unincorporated Dougherty County.

It was either raise the millage rate by two mils or make drastic cuts to animal control, the fire department, street lights, or the Dougherty County Police.

"Sometimes you have no choices in life and this is one of them. You either decimate the Dougherty County Police Department, turn off the street lights, and quit picking up dangerous dogs or you have to make the tough decisions," says Finance Committee Chairman Lamar Hudgins.

Commissioner Ewel Lyle had suggested the Dougherty County Police move into the facility currently housing the Sheriff's Office, but Dougherty County Police Chief Don Cheek says it would cost substantially more to move his entire department than the county would see in savings.

Commissioners agree that all commissioners should be involved in next year's budget rather than assigning certain commissioners to a separate finance committee.

County Administrator Richard Crowdis had also expressed a wish to look at the budget year-round, not just a few months before a new one must be voted on.

The new budget takes effect July first.

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