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Supervisors begin budget hearings

As the fastest-growing county in the state and one of the most rapidly growing in the nation, Lafayette County is going through unprecedented changes. Currently the county is in the process of updating a comprehensive plan that will help guide that future growth.

The Lafayette County Board of Supervisors believe there is a need for a full-time county planner to ensure that growth is met and thought out.

During its first budget hearing of the approaching new fiscal year on Thursday, supervisors discussed advertising for a county planner position beginning in July with the hopes of having someone on board by October.

Currently County Engineer Larry Britt has been filling the void of a county planner, but has indicated he does not want the position.

“It would free Larry up to concentrate on roads and bridges,” said Supervisor Kevin Frye, who brought up the matter. His fellow supervisors in attendance, Jeff Busby, Chad McLarty and David Rikard, agreed with him. Supervisor Mike Roberts was not present.

The county would also have a Planning Department and supervisors would like for the planner to have a minimum of five years experience, as well as “enthusiasm,” according to Busby.

“If I were a planner, I think it would be cool to work for the fastest growing county in the state,” Frye said. He would also like to have a committee developed to interview the candidates.

Baker and Wall first up

County Administrator Lisa Carwyle and the supervisors also began the process of meeting with department heads and going over each of their budgets. First up were Tax Assessor and Collector Sylvia Baker and Chancery Clerk Sherry Wall.

Wall is seeking for the 2016-17 fiscal year:

•Personnel services (clerk) — $88,577, a decrease of $11,583

•Contractual services  — $36,500, remains same

•Consumable supplies  — $8,000, remains same

•Office equipment  — $6,200, remains same

•Personnel services (employees)  — $221,913, increase of $6,892

Chancery Court:

•Personnel services  — $119,128, increase of $1,740

•Contractual services  — $44,500, increase of $500

•Consumable supplies  — $3,000, remains same

•Capital outlay  — $1,500, remains same

Youth Court:

•Personnel services  — $55,838, decrease of $3,269

•Contractual services  — $33,200, decrease of $20,400

•Consumable supplies  — $1,200, remains same

•Capital outlay  — $1,000, remains same

Lunacy Court:

•Personnel services  — $1,000, remains same

•Contractual services  — $8,000, remains same

Baker is requesting for her 2016-17 fiscal year:

•Personnel services (clerk and deputies) – $656,511, decrease of $2,022

•Contractual services  — $98,740, increase of $9,940

•Consumable supplies  — $12,000, remains same

•Capital outlay  — $6,350, increase of $350

Sheriff Buddy East will sit down with supervisors on Tuesday at 9 a.m. to go over his department’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year.