Public hearing on Rowan County budget is Monday
By Jessie Burchette
Commissioners will hear from the public Monday evening on the proposed $130 million budget.
The budget will keep the current tax rate of 59.5 cents per $100 valuation.
Schools and county employees appear to be the winners, getting the biggest increase in dollars.
Increases in health insurance and a 4.1 percent cost-of-living increase for employees will add $1.5 million.
Commissioners will not receive the 4.1 percent increase. During a workshop last week, they voted unanimously not to accept the increase.
Schools, including the Rowan-Salisbury and Kannapolis systems, will get an additional $1.9 million for operations.
Rowan-Salisbury Schools requested an additional $2.9 million.
The total appropriation for schools is $34.5 million.
Leslie Heidrick, finance director, fashioned a budget to suit the Board of Commissioners. She did not recommend more than $14 million in requests from various departments.
More than 25 agencies or organizations that get special funding from the county asked for increases totaling $612,000. The proposed budget includes $4,000 in new money, with most of that going to the N.C. Forest Service. Overall, a total of $1 million is budgeted for the organizations.
Two budget workshops last week were low-key. Gene Miller, assistant superintendent for the Rowan-Salisbury Schools, and Carl Ford, a Republican candidate for the Board of Commissioners, were the only two non-county staff who attended both sessions.
A majority of the commissioners support keeping school funding at the state average, which is $1,565 per student.
The budget hearing is set for 6 p.m.
Landmark farm request
Commissioners will conduct their regular meeting starting at 4 p.m. with a first request to declare an entire farm a historic landmark.
The Rowan County Historic Landmarks Commission is requesting the 242-acre Richard Wainright Barber farm be declared a landmark. The farm, located on Redmon Road, has been in the same family since 1794.
If approved, the property owners qualify for a 50 percent deferral of property taxes.
Commissioners will also:
– Consider approving a resolution opposing any effort by the General Assembly to shift any road costs to counties.
– Authorize the sale of surplus property at an auction on June 20. The sale will include vehicles and office equipment.
The Rowan County Board of Commissioners meets in the Cohen Administration Building, 130 W. Innes St.