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Two sessions set to work on county budget

By Jessie Burchette
Salisbury Post
County commissioners plan to make quick work of the proposed 2008-2009 budget.
The Rowan County Board of Commissioners have set two afternoon sessions to work on the budget. And board Chairman Arnold Chamberlain predicted last week that the second session may not be needed.
Meanwhile, Gary Page, who began work as county manager Monday, will be a bystander in the budget process.
“Page will get to sit back and listen,” Chamberlain said. “Our new manager won’t be involved in this budget.”
Page has served as county manager in Wilkes County the past 12 years.
The budget process has been under way for weeks with Finance Director Leslie Heidrick reviewing departmental requests and going through the continuation budget, which includes the funding necessary to keep county operations going. That portion of the budget totals more than $125 million in spending.
Commissioners will get the budget requests ó which usually run 500 pages or more ó and the proposed budget at their meeting Monday.
Chamberlain previously said commissioners wouldn’t raise taxes. Commissioners will have very limited new dollars available because of the downturn in the economy, which is hurting revenue from property and sales taxes.
Commissioners have set the work sessions for May 27 and May 28. Both sessions will be in the Cohen Administration Building, 130 W. Innes St.
The board will conduct a public hearing on the budget during its June 2 meeting. The hearing will be at 6 p.m., also in the Cohen Administration Building.
The current plan calls for adoption of the budget at the June 16 meeting.

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