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County Chairman proposes $63.5 million budget for next year
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Rockdale County Chairman Richard Oden made his proposal for the county’s 2015 budget available for public viewing Monday. 

The proposed budget is about $63.5 million, which is approximately $5 million more than approved budget from a year ago. 

The public safety division of the county is set to receive more than half, $32.4 million, of the annual budget under this proposal. The Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office would be allotted the most public safety money with about $21.1 million for operating expenses. The department requested a $2.3 million increase for personnel, but is only receiving a $1.8 million bump in funding. 

Other department allocations include $9.4 million for the Rockdale County Fire and Rescue, $6.6 million for Finance $2.2 million for the Rockdale Department of Transportation and $1.2 million for the Planning and Development.

The Chair’s proposal also keeps funding the Conyers Rockdale Economic Development Council with $125,000. Post 1 Commissioner Oz Nesbitt has urged for the board to increase the county's contributions to as much as $250,000. 

The public safety department would dominate the funds of the county’s $2.4 capital budget under Oden’s proposal. The fire department would receive a little more than $1 million, 44 percent, of the budget next year. 

After receiving about 75 percent of the capital budgeted funds for 2014, the RCSO would only receive $95,200, about four percent of the captial budget, for the replacement of patrol vehicles in 2015. 

The RCSO had requested more than $2.1 million in capital funds for 2015, which is $1.4 million less than the department’s a request from a year ago but would eat up 90 percent of the county’s capital budget. 

The Rockdale County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing in relation to the proposed 2015 budget Nov. 11 at 10 a.m. in the Assembly Hall, 901 Main Street, Conyers. The regular meeting of the Board of Commissioners will follow the public hearing. 

The first reading of the 2015 budget is scheduled to take place Nov. 25 at 10 a.m. and the second reading and adoption of next year’s budget should occur at the board’s regular meeting scheduled for, Dec. 9 at 10:00 a.m. Both meetings will be held in the Assembly Hall.