Madison County Commission meets for budget hearings

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala.-- It's that time of year again. The Madison County Commission met Thursday to discuss budgets. Commission Chairman Dale Strong said there's a lot to consider.

"We'll probably have about $300 million worth of requests. We have a $71 million general fund, and so again what we're going to do is operate within the budget.  We're also gonna be sure that as Chairman, I'm gonna present a balanced budget," Strong said.

As for what the biggest need is right now, Strong said it's working together. They have a lot of things going on at the same time. This includes $400 million of transportation projects in the works, and $300 million going into school system construction.

"We're dealing with a lot of energy and costs that are there. We've got new buildings that are associated here in Madison County, we're evaluating health care costs in the jail, we're evaluating labor costs," he said.

Strong said the biggest thing they take away from this is that government can't be all things to all people. The Commission has to be able to say no, and Strong said he thinks Madison County Commission understands that, and does a good job of it. In fact, doing that in the past has actually proved to be beneficial.

"But we're seeing a lot of the savings from decisions that we've made over the last three years that are making our county better," he said.

As for what they did with those savings, Strong said they reinvested them back into their employees. Commissioner Strong adds that right now it's just information gathering. No cuts or expansions have been made yet.