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Cabarrus commissioners adopt $226 million budget

CONCORD — The Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners voted Monday to adopt a $226 million budget for the coming fiscal year.
The $213.5 million general fund budget maintains a property tax rate of 70 cents per $100 of value. Due to economic growth, the county predicts maintaining the same tax rate will yield a 2.55 percent increase in revenues for the 2013-14 budget, a news release said.
Commissioners also adopted the Cabarrus Arena and Events Center Fund at $1,515,830; Landfill Fund at $926,000; 911 Emergency Telephone Fund at $755,724; and Health Insurance Fund at $9,385,229.
The budget provides nearly $57 million in current expense funding to Cabarrus County and Kannapolis City Schools systems and Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, an increase of more than $2.3M over the current budget.
The additional funds put more than $1 million toward technology needs, $679,339 toward instructional services to help meet the needs of growing student enrollment, and $138,891 toward a 1.5 percent cost-of-living increase for local supplements for Cabarrus County and Kannapolis City schools. The budget also includes $392,421 toward building maintenance for Cabarrus County Schools and $43,575 toward operation and facility costs at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.
The county will also provide the school systems and community college with $1.3 million for basic capital needs, and an additional $1.5 million for the purchase of a school site for Cabarrus County Schools.
The budget also funds additional hours for school nurses and provides them a health insurance option. Cabarrus Health Alliance will receive an additional $300,000 in one-time stopgap funding, and the budget maintains current funding levels for the Cabarrus County Economic Development Commission.
For the first time since 2011, the budget includes a 1.5 percent cost-of-living increase for county employees and reinstatement of a merit pay system for exemplary job performance last approved in 2009. It also adds positions to address public safety, service and building needs.
In preparing the budget, county staff looked at privatizing some services and consolidating some departments, and some of that is included in the final document. For example, effective July 1, the Department of Human Services will consolidation the county’s Department of Social Services and its transportation and aging services, the news release said.

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