Holmes County residents are not projected to pay a higher millage rate for the new fiscal year.
Holmes County Deputy Clerk Angie Purvee asked the Holmes County Board of County Commissioners to set the proposed millage rate for the 2023-2024 fiscal year when they met in regular session on July 18.
Commissioners agreed to leave the millage rate at 9.4916 to allow the property appraiser’s office to make the proper assessments for the upcoming fiscal year budget for Ad Valorem totals. Commissioners state that with proper totals in place, the county will be able to budget accordingly.
Commissioners will hold a special meeting to officially set the tentative millage rate and budget on September 5 at 5:01 p.m.
Engineer Cliff Knauer presented conceptual plans of the new government complex to commissioners for approval. The plans include a 14,000 square feet building complete with offices, auditorium, and an outdoor pavilion. The next step will be for electrical and mechanical engineers to add their needed specs to the project before it goes out for bid in late August.
Knauer advised there will be alternate plans in the bid packages should the cost be too high for the county to cover with the remaining roughly $2.6 million state appropriated funds. Those contingency packages would call for reducing the size of the pavilion or eliminating the pavilion altogether.
Although $4 million was received in appropriations, some of that money has been earmarked for other projects in the county, such as renovations of the central EMS facility. Knauer believes the county can reduce some of the project cost by completing some of the work in-house. Final plans are expected to come before the board before going out to bid next month.
In other business, Liberty Partners was tasked with finding a funding source in order to raise the water level of Dogwood Lakes. President Jennifer Greene advised commissioners that most funding sources or grants would require the county to provide public access to the lake in the form of a boat ramp. The county previously had boat ramp access through an easement but lost it when the owner passed away and the heirs sold the property. Since then, however, local resident Don Smith bought the property and has offered to sell it to the county or enter into a long-term lease to allow for public access. County officials state they will make a decision on which course of action to take once a funding source is established for the project.
In other items, three garbage franchise renewals were approved. HDS, Northwest Florida Sanitation, and the Town of Caryville will continue to provide services in their respective areas.
The Holmes County Board of County Commissioners will meet again in regular session at 6 p.m. on August 1.