The Macon-Bibb County consolidated government is unlikely to see big savings in its first few months, a budget consultant told the Finance Committee of the merger task force Wednesday.
Paula Sanford from the Carl Vinson Institute of Government is working on how the new government’s budget will be structured. About 70 percent of current city and county budgets is used for personnel costs, she said. Officials anticipate the new government will at least start with the same number of employees. Many other costs such as fuel and utilities are relatively fixed as well, Sanford said.
“I don’t foresee an awful lot of cost savings,” she said. “The only place there might be is combining the City Council and County Commission budget.”
But the first six months of a new government — from its establishment in January 2014 until the June 30, 2014, end of the fiscal year — isn’t the time to look for line-by-line cuts, Sanford said.
The consolidation legislation requires the new mayor and commission to cut 20 percent from the current total cit
y and county budgets over the next five years, but no cut is required the first year.