• 81°

HC budget approved

WINTON – The 2018-19 Hertford County operating budget included a few, last-minute changes, but did not include a raise for county employees nor did it restore full funding to the local volunteer fire departments.

On Wednesday morning, the Hertford County Board of Commissioners reconvened their June 18 regular session to finalize the new budget and take care of other matters.

By a 3-0 vote, the Commissioners approved the budget, which they slightly modified upwards to $25,492.583 from the $25,363,875 as proposed by County Manager Loria Williams.

Commission Chairman Curtis Freeman and Commissioner John Horton did not attend Wednesday’s reconvened meeting.

The difference between the adopted budget and the proposal by Williams is $128,708.

At the June 18 meeting, where a public hearing was held on the proposed new budget, it was stressed that “county money going to non-profit agencies is cut to zero (a savings to the county of $46,237),” as reported in the June 21 edition of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald. It was at that same meeting where the county’s volunteer firefighters turned out in great numbers after they learned the county was slashing its annual contributions to the volunteer fire departments by a combined $8,596. That figure represents $1,074.50 per each of the eight volunteer departments across the county. That reduction was approved as part of the new budget.

As far as the other departments covered by the county’s budget, nearly all took a hit in funding over the current year’s appropriations as the new budget is roughly $4 million less than its predecessor.

Public Safety will receive $6.82 million in the new budget. Of that amount, the Sheriff’s Office was budgeted $2.07 million (a slight increase from 2017-18 at $2.02 million). The Jail Department was funded at $1.89 million (down from $1.94 million), and Emergency Medical Services was given $1.29 million (a decrease from $1.31 million for FY 2017-18).

For local education, Hertford County Public Schools receives $4.29 million in current expense funding (down from $4.42 million) and $130,000 in capital outlay. Roanoke-Chowan Community College was awarded $949,474 in Hertford County taxpayer money (a decrease from $978,839).

General Government will receive $4.23 million from the newly approved budget. With the exception of Human Resources/Risk Management, which received a slight increase in funding, all others listed under General Government – Governing Body, Administration, Finance Office, Tax Assessor, Tax Collection, Board of Elections, Register of Deeds, Land Records, and Public Buildings and Maintenance experienced budget cuts.

The new budget also includes $1.42 million to pay the combined debt service loans.

As for revenue, nearly one-half of the $25.42 million budget is built on ad valorem taxes ($12.47 million). Other key sources of revenue include sales and use taxes ($4.77 million), $2.45 million received as restricted intergovernmental funds for DSS, and $1.11 million in vehicle taxes.

The newly approved budget required moving $1.34 million from the county’s Fund Balance. However, it does not require a property tax hike nor does it include any increases to public water/sewer rates.

The FY 2018-19 budget became effective July 1.

 

 

 

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

email author More by Cal