Today was the second lengthy day of budget planning -- and tough choices -- for the Hall County Board of Supervisors.
"It's not that the belief in drug court has gone away, it's simply that, I mean, there are just fewer and fewer dollars," stated Pamela Lancaster, chair of the Hall County Board of Supervisors.
Most Hall County departments received only small incremental increases, and yesterday the Board of Supervisors made plans to reduce the Hall County Weed Department from five persons to one, saving the county over one hundred-fifty thousand dollars a year.
Amidst an atmosphere of belt-tightening, the Board of Supervisors scrutinized departmental budgets line by line, looking to cut wherever possible.
Board members say their frugal approach to government is a budgetary necessity.
"We knew that the dollars were diminishing. We also knew that there were unfunded mandates. In other words, new requirements for the state that weren't being funded. And those dollars were approximately 2.2 million that had been deleted from, or required of us," Pamela Lancaster explained.
Not all budgets appear ripe for pruning, however. Faced with rising crime, the Hall County Sheriff's Department is requesting increased funds to hire an additional deputy.
"We're just going so many different directions, that a lot of times during the day, I don't have anybody to send to help somebody that's got a problem, anything from an accident on a roadway to a barking dog or a domestic disturbance. I don't have anybody to send because I just don't have the resources, so that's what we're trying to fix," Hall County Sheriff Jerry Watson said.