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Posted Saturday, May 14, 2011
Pittsboro, NC - The county manager's office will present the recommended 2011-2012 budget at this Monday's meeting (May 16, 2011). Our budget team has done a tremendous job in preparing recommendations that increase our commitment to public education and public safety while cutting over-all spending by $1.5 million in discretionary items.
This budget shows that by examining every line item, we can increase support in high priority areas while reducing total spending.
Most counties will be recommending cuts in K-12 allocations, we are recommending an increased allocation to our public schools by approximately 2%. The Community College operating budget is recommended to increase by about 8% for a total increase in education spending of $1.4 million.
We've recommended that the Affordable Housing/Green building specialist be restructured and renamed. The new position will continue to handle current functions but will now assume the role of ombudsman for new development projects. This means that if someone wants to create jobs in the county, they will have a specialist who can shepherd them through the process. A great step forward in becoming easier to do business in Chatham!
If adopted as recommended, commitment to our public safety operating budget will be increased by about 1%.
The proposed budget has a dramatic positive effect on fund balance levels as well. Instead of a projected drop below the 20% goal in 2016, the new projection shows levels well above that. This will place the county in a better position to handle unknown state and budget impacts, continue to provide core services, and meet future obligations without over burdening the tax payers.
I almost forgot to add, that we will be able to do all of this without increasing property taxes! There is no question that without prioritizing and reducing discretionary spending as is being recommended, property taxes would have increased this year.
I encourage you to attend the presentation on Monday but if you cannot, don't worry. We will be video recording the meeting and making it available on-line.
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