Pike County Revenue Problem

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The Pike County Commission recently cut more than $80,000 dollars from its budget.

Leaders say that cut will have a strong impact on the community, and could cost residents even more in the future.

A major cut came from money that is typically used to help county schools and volunteer fire departments.

Leaders say more cuts could come in the future, unless something changes.

Some volunteer fire departments in Pike County will now have less money to work with in emergency situations.

The county commission was forced to cut over $80,000 dollars from its budget, eliminating the commissioner's discretionary fund, which provides additional revenue for some volunteer fire departments.

"What we would like the least to do is curtail any services that are provided to the citizens of Pike County. That's what we're trying to avoid," says Pike County Administrator, Harry Sanders.

Officials at the volunteer fire department in Brundidge say it takes a lot of money to run operations, buy equipment, and train firefighters.

Without any money coming from the county, officials say making the budget will be harder this year.

"Our biggest thing is equipment because the manpower is volunteering. We are required to train, so we may have to cut back on a little training. But we won't cut back on the effort to protect the property and the people in our area." says Volunteer Fireman Moses Davenport.

So, what's next for the county?

Leaders say if enough money doesn't come from the state that could mean a tax increase for everyone in the county

However, officials say that tax increase is a last resort.

County leaders are hoping for more money from the government for next year's budget.

As for volunteer fire department money: officials say the majority of the income comes from tobacco tax and the city it serves.

If county leaders choose to raise taxes, that could come as soon as the next fiscal budget.

Officials say there would be meetings prior to any proposal to receive community feedback.