With a proposal to refinance some of Dickson County’s long-term debt, Mayor Bob Rial told the Chamber of Commerce luncheon Monday that he will have addressed the three major issues that were on his agenda when he and the current county commission took office two years ago. With the situations he inherited on his election, Rial said his priorities were to get a handle on the county’s operational expenses, address the landfill lawsuits and take on the county’s debt. In county operations, Rial said there was no staffing plan for the newly expanded Dickson County Jail, which ended up requiring another $750,000. He said legal fees over the landfill litigation had gone $1 million over budget and the county was having to take another million from its reserves to balance the budget. By taking a hard look at spending, Rial said the county was able to cut about $800,000 in expenses and by instituting the $10 monthly landfill fee the county created another $2.4 million in revenue. With a settlement reached in December to the landfill lawsuits, the county now knows its annual costs will be $400,000 to go into a remediation fund over the next 10 years. Rial said that allowed him to turn his focus to the issue that the county had no long-term debt plan. “We can’t continue to borrow from the future to take care of present operations,” Rial told the chamber members at GreyStone Golf Club. With more spending cuts, a closer watch on spending by all departments and by refinancing some of the county’s debt, Rial said his proposed budget will not require any additional revenue this year. However, he said the debt plan will not start to provide any relief for eight years, meaning any new projects such as school construction will require additional revenue. “We borrowed money without setting aside funds for repayment,” Rial said in explaining how the county got where it is. “I think we can tough it out,” he said. Rial said the county could begin to see relief from the debt obligations in as little as five years if the property tax rate is increased 11 cents, but said his recommendation will be to refinance the debt without extending the terms and hold the line on taxes for now. He urged those attending the luncheon to contact their county commissioners and let them know what they think about the budget situation. The commission’s Budget and Budget Advisory committees resume budget discussions at 6 pm Monday.