County Manager Craig Honeycutt provided an updated budget presentation to the Board of Commissioners before the public hearing on next year’s budget. The updated budget presentation included a $.035 tax increase to fund operations adjustments and debt service for capital projects.
The County is faced with significantly increased costs on school construction, fuel, health insurance, and retirement contributions. Part of this budget includes salary increases for staff following a salary study done across departments. ARP funding is being used for allowable capital expenditures, including public safety, EMS, and IT.
The Board discussed placing the quarter-cent sales tax on the ballot this year for voters to consider. If implemented, the increased cost on a $100 purchase would be $.25 (from $6.75 to $7.00.) Everyone that comes through Wayne County would be paying this vs. only the residents of Wayne County.
No members of the public spoke at the public hearing, and the Board approved the proposed budget unanimously.
Chairman Joe Daughtery commented on the increased costs the County is facing right now. School construction costs have nearly doubled in the past couple of years. He added that it is hard making these decisions, but these changes are needed to move forward.
Commissioner Williams offered his support for the budget and commented that the budget had more good than bad in it.
Vice-Chairman Wayne Aycock applauded both the Board of Commissioners and the Board of Education for working together to tackle education needs in the County.
Commissioner Gurley added that the Board has to continue to work well with other local governing bodies.