Chatham County Commission discusses proposed millage increase for SCMPD involvement

CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - A possible millage increase sparked lots of discussion between Chatham County Commissioners on Friday.

The 2018 budget for the county could see the millage increase all because of their involvement in the Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department.

Chatham County Manager Lee Smith told us a 1.6 mills increase is a worst case scenario. Lots of back and forth followed once the commissioners saw the proposed budget. All the talk went back to the Berkshire Advisors police study.

Commissioner Dean Kicklighter called it a flawed study while County Commission Chairman Al Scott said it was disappointing. The board members went on to say how they want to have a meeting with the consultant and with the staff to go over the study.

The police study did indicate the county owes the City of Savannah money and that's part of the 1.6 mills increase.

County Manager Lee Smith broke down the numbers for us.

"The 1.6 mills is to pay back $4.9 million going back over the past 24 months, $2.6 million is going forward and that would be effective July 1 but that all depends on the negotiations between the city and the county," said County Manager Smith.

A decision must be made on all of this by July 1.

The county will have budget workshops coming up. The first public hearing on the proposed budget will be June 9.

After June 30, the city or county can terminate the merger. But a six-month notice is required.

If no one terminates, the agreement will last until 2025.

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