The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday approved a $2.07 billion budget for 2022, up 8.1 percent from last year. The newly approved budget does not require a millage rate increase.
The adopted spending plan consists of a $1.6 billion operating budget and a $455 million capital improvements budget, which includes funds from the County’s voter-approved SPLOST program.
Chairwoman Nicole Hendrickson said the budget continues the county’s long tradition of conservative spending while addressing the many needs of one of Georgia’s fastest growing counties.
“We worked for months with an advisory team of residents, our finance staff, department heads, and elected officials to prioritize spending for a balanced, fiscally sound budget,” Hendrickson said. “This budget makes intentional investments that address core services, health and human service expansion and ongoing recovery efforts from the pandemic.”
With more growth on the horizon, the County’s services and infrastructure must keep up. Two-thirds of the operating budget is dedicated to the areas of public safety and public works. The capital budget will pay for new facilities, roads and parks as well as maintenance for existing assets and infrastructure.
Budget highlights include:
· Funding to support the 2022 mid-term elections in addition to $4.4 million in expanded election services – eight new positions in the Elections Division, an increase to poll official pay, four new advance voting satellite locations, the cost of postage for mailing in absentee ballots, and voter outreach mailings
• $2 million for a multi-year expansion of the Gwinnett County Transit system that will bring new routes to a wider area of the county, including micro transit. After three years, this expansion will increase local bus services by 58 percent, commuter bus services by 20 percent, and paratransit services by 40 percent
· $2.4 million for 30 additional sworn police officer positions
· $6.3 million for the Eastern Regional Infrastructure Project in the eastern part of the county, which will include five miles of new public greenway trails, two trailheads, upgraded and expanded water service, and expanded sewer service
The 2022 budget also includes:
· $222 million for water and sewer services
· $17.6 million for resurfacing county roads
· $36.9 million for technology to maintain, modernize and secure county information systems
· $496,560 for a police and mental health collaboration program to help people in mental distress
· $117,000 for the Gwinnett Entrepreneur Center to support new, local businesses
· $550,000 for indigent medical care
· $250,000 to aid in planning for comprehensive affordable housing
As part of the budget development process, department directors and elected officials presented business plans for 2022 to the budget review committee that included five Gwinnett residents recruited by Chairwoman Hendrickson who reviewed the departmental requests and made recommendations for the budget proposal.
Commissioners held a public hearing on the budget Dec. 6 and accepted comments in writing and online through Dec. 31 before making their final decision.
The adopted 2022 budget resolution and supporting documents are available online at GwinnettCounty.com.