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Posted Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Pittsboro, NC - Great news! We have passed a 2013-2014 budget that stays focused on our core functions and keeps on the path to a a prosperous, thriving community.
We continue our strong support for education and public safety including increasing the teacher supplement funding to $3.8 million to help cover increased supplement costs the school system had been absorbing. We also allocated $500,000 in a one-time appropriation to the school system for replacement of laptops for all teachers in grades k-8.
We provided funding to many non-profit agencies that are providing vital work to alleviate problems caused by hunger, homelessness, mental health issues, family violence, and more at the same level as previous years. I want to thank the volunteers who reviewed applications of the agencies and helped us make the allocation decisions.
During our budget work sessions we agreed to use the "commissioner discretionary" funds to increase funding to the Boys and Girls club, Chatham Literacy Council, Family Violence & Rape Center, Hispanic Liaison, and Habitat for Humanity.
For the first time we have added to the budget an Agriculture civic center and exposition hall. Given that agriculture and agribusiness provide significant economic resources (over $105 million in 2012) and the county continues to expand its state leadership in farming, livestock, poultry, and dairy, we are long overdue for this type of facility. The economic development potential is very exciting and current plans are to have it built and open in 2016.
We owe a big thank you to the professional staff who were able to incorporate our goals into a budget to meet our current needs, plan for the future, and avoid a property tax rate increase for the third consecutive year.
Brian Bock is a Chatham County Commissioner.
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