The $80.3 million budget is accomplished while maintaining the County’s $0.53 real estate tax rate. All other tax rates remain the same, except for the Personal Property rate for members of the County’s volunteer fire-rescue association, which was decreased to $1.00 per $100 of assessed valuation of vehicles.
The County General Fund budget at $50.4 million represents a $2.5 million or 5.2% increase from the current year. Education makes up 43% of the General Fund budget while Public Safety is 20% of General Fund spending. Some of the changes from the current year include:
- Public Safety increased by $857,000 or 8.0% above the FY17 budget
- School transfer increased by $670,000 or 3.2% above the FY17 budget
The County and Schools Capital Improvements Program (CIP) was approved at $81.4 million for FY18-FY22. The first year of the CIP includes investments in HVAC improvements to Randolph & Byrd Elementary Schools, replacing and standardizing hydraulic tools for Fire-Rescue, and improvements to parking lots at the Courthouse and Administration complexes. FY19-FY22 projects focus on facilities management, public safety, and school construction/maintenance projects.
The County continues its focus on high quality customer service through the addition of twelve positions to meet increased service demands from our citizens and customers. These positions increase public safety coverage with the addition of two new communication officers/dispatchers, a Sheriff’s Deputy, and four new career firefighter positions previously added in mid-year FY 17. In addition, the budget fully funds a 2% merit compensation increase for all County employees, along with a teacher salary scale increase and 1.75% raise for School staff.
County Administrator John A. Budesky thanks all the citizens who provided important feedback on priorities by participating in the months long budget process. The smooth and collaborative process could not have occurred without the support of all county employees, department heads, Constitutional Officers, and especially the Financial Services Department staff.
While the County is unable to address and implement all feedback provided, these suggestions will be kept in mind as we plan for future years. Over the coming months, we will share more details on capital projects and initiatives advanced through the FY 18 Budget.