Hinds County, MS: Occurring amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic, the 2020-21 Hinds County Board of Supervisors’ budget process represented some of the most challenging fiscal decisions in recent County history. Nonetheless, remaining good stewards of taxpayer dollars, board members were able to adopt a balanced combined budget of $129,487,255.00 for Fiscal Year 2021 on September 21, 2020 with no tax increase, no reduction in services, and no employee lay-offs. The new budget reflects:
• $1.2M in new taxes collected from the annual tax sale,
• a 12.99% increase in the County’s cash reserve,
• a savings of approximately $400,000 in employee health insurance premium, and
• an increased public works road millage from 1.016 to 1.118 mills.
Additionally, the budget process included a major review of current contracts, which resulted in a savings of $200,000 through renegotiations and non-renewals.
Health and safety across Hinds County remain top priorities for the Board with public safety claiming approximately 62% of the General Fund Budget.
Capital improvements and needs that support office expansions and departmental restructuring are also on the priority list and could result in greater employee efficiency. Also, efforts to ensure fair employee compensation were initiated this budget planning cycle. This includes a 2% salary increase for 100 Hinds
County detention officers.
“Our new county administrator, Jennifer Riley Collins, has been instrumental in guiding the entire budget process. She had to hit the ground running when she was hired and we commend her for her performance during these critical and uncertain times,” said District 1 Supervisor and Board President,Robert Graham.
Traditional revenue sources and expenditures will be closely monitored by the county administrator and the Board along with any new sources of funding such as that provided by the federal CARES Act and recommended budget adjustments will be made as needed throughout the next fiscal year. District 3 Supervisor and Board Vice President, Supervisor Credell Calhoun, said, “Hinds County is no longer kicking the can down the road.”
“The Hinds County Board of Supervisors is happy that we were able to balance the budget while not raising taxes or laying off any employees. We were able to cut some of the fat, nearly $1m in expenditures. Also, we have been able to hire a professional grant writer to get more federal funds into Hinds County. There have been nearly 43 roads and streets paved and 15 bridges repaired inside the County at the approval of the Board. Additional positions were approved for the Sheriff’s Department to increase the number of deputies that patrol Hinds County roads and streets. We were able to accomplish these things during a flood, three hurricanes, and the COVID-19 Pandemic. The new administration of the Hinds County Board of Supervisors is making great strides towards making Hinds County the Mecca of the South,” added District 2 Supervisor, David Archie.
For more information contact Sharon Sims at 601-906-6594 or firstname.lastname@example.org.