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      Dougherty County Commission passes millage rate increase

      A handful of residents gathered for the Monday morning of the Dougherty County Commission.

      Dougherty County Commissioners approved a two mill increase in the unincorporated area Monday.

      They also heard from citizens in their last public hearing on the issue.

      Long time advocate against tax hikes, Richard Thomas suggested the county pay for its own fire services instead of paying the city $3 million a year for the services.

      Consolidation was another idea brought up by citizens.

      After the vote, Commissioner Gloria Gaines says starting now, the finance committee will dig deeper to find cuts.

      We know our finances are headed in the wrong direction right now. We have to look at alternative sources of revenue, we have to look at where we can cut back, definitely that is on the table, we have to look at how we can be more efficient, just everything, says Gaines.

      The entire commission will also have a larger role in the budget process in the future in hopes of avoiding another tax increase.When it came down to voting on the two mill increase for the unincorporated area, it was passed in a four-to-two vote. Voting in favor of the increase was Jack Stone, Lamar Hudgins, Gloria Gaines, and Commission Chairman Jeff Sinyard. Commissioners John Hayes and Ewel Lyle voted against the increase while Muarlean Edwards was absent from the vote.