Cumberland County Manager Amy Cannon presented the fiscal year 2023 recommended annual budget to the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners Thursday, May 26.
FAYETTEVILLE — Cumberland County Manager Amy Cannon presented the fiscal year 2023 recommended annual budget to the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners Thursday, May 26. The recommended budget maintains the county’s current property tax rate of 79.9 cents per $100 valuation and makes investments in a number of the board’s strategic priorities.
The balanced recommended budget includes just under $553 million in expenditures across all county funds, with $362 million appropriated for General Fund expenses, which represents a $22 million or 6.5% increase over the FY2023 General Fund budget.
Cannon presented her recommended budget at a time of continued evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic, along with an uncertain economic outlook due to global issues including high inflation, rising fuel prices, the conflict in Ukraine, and ongoing supply chain issues. She said the recommended budget continues the County’s focus on resilience, recovery, and restructuring.
The recommended budget includes modest increases in projected property and sales tax collections, with the increase in sales tax projections closer to pre-pandemic levels. On the expenditure side, the budget addresses projected increase in health insurance costs, employer contributions to the retirement system, and property and cybersecurity insurance.
The recommended budget provides funding to address a number of the Board of Commissioners’ ongoing priorities including:
Continuing to move forward with the replacement of the Crown Theatre and Arena with anticipated site review and selection, land procurement, updating and refining project cost estimates, and procurement of a design/construction team
Allocating $258,600 to move forward with Phase 1 of the Gray’s Creek Water Project to serve two elementary schools and residential customers located along the route
Moving forward with addressing homelessness including identifying potential sites for a homeless shelter
Maintaining local funding for mental health services and recommending utilizing existing MCO fund balance to increase levels of mental health and substance abuse services in the county
Providing $390,254 for a pilot project to provide in-home case management and care coordination to help address the social determinants of health and reduce barriers and gaps in services to those most in need
Including $50,000 for a pilot transportation program to address transportation access issues for citizens receiving services from the Public Health Department
The recommended budget also includes:
$755,657 for 15 new positions (not including the new positions related to the in-home case management and care coordination program)
$84.3 million in current expense funding for Cumberland County Schools, representing 43.47% of the property tax rate and an increase of $1.3 million from FY2022
An additional $3.9 million in funding to Cumberland County Schools for School Health Nurses, School Resource Officers, and School Crossing Guards
$14.2 million in current expense funding for Fayetteville Technical Community College, which is an increase of $935,000
$2 million to replace 32 vehicles (21 from the Sheriff’s Office and Detention Center)
Additionally, the recommended budget seeks to address critical issues the county is facing related to recruitment and retention of an experienced, well-trained workforce. Initiatives include:
Funding for a 4% cost-of-living adjustment for county employees
Additional market adjustments to increase the entry level salary rates for sheriff’s deputies and detention officers
$95,000 to conduct an organization-wide classification and market study to address salary compression, inequity, and competitive pay within ranges
Funding for a pilot project to transition social workers in DSS to permanent remote work, which could be expanded to other County departments in future years
The recommended budget is available on the county’s website at cumberlandcountync.gov. The Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing on the proposed budget on Monday, June 6 at 7 p.m. in Room 118 of the courthouse. Citizens who would like to comment on the proposed budget during the public hearing may, but are not required to, sign up prior to the start of the meeting. A sign-up sheet will be available in the room. Individuals may also call the Clerk to the Board at 910-678-7771 or email email@example.com.
According to North Carolina law, the Board may adopt the budget no earlier than 10 days after it is presented.