County OKs Budget
By Mike Barnhardt
County Manager Beth Dirks called it the most difficult budget she’s ever completed.
And a couple of county residents who usually ask county commissioners to protect the taxpayers hinted that taxes may need to be a little higher.
After a public hearing on the 2013-2014 budget Monday night, commissioners unanimously (Board chair Robert Wisecarver was not present due to pneumonia.) approved the $72.5 million budget submitted by Dirks.
It raises the tax rate from 62 cents to 66 cents per $100 of property valuation, but most taxpayers will see little change due to a decrease in property values.
“This is by far the toughest budget I’ve ever done,” Dirks said. “The department heads have been amazing. The outside agencies have worked with us, as well. It’s a team approach, we couldn’t do it without our staff and our employees.”
Those outside agencies, including the school system, received a two percent decrease in funding from the previous year.
Advance Fire Chief Rodney Miller asked the board said the community’s fire department is facing a $45,000 or higher loss in revenue. He asked for a service district for Advance with a .75 cent tax.
“I’m going to have to do something,” Miller said. “The only other option is a tax district, and that could hurt other departments and we don’t want to do that.”
Randy McDaniel Sr. called the budget “acceptable and fair.” “The citizens of Davie County owe all of you a big thank you.”
EMS and the sheriff’s department have asked for additional personnel for three years. County employees deserve a raise. All of the requests are justified, and McDaniel urged the board to delay a vote to see about providing those options.
James Kowles thanked the …