County Board Talks Budget
Commissioner Nick Picerno raised a series of issues with the proposed budget Thursday during a special work session of the Moore County Board of Commissioners.
Picerno questioned the need to cut four positions and to reduce the sheriff’s budget. He also expressed concern that both the college and the public school budgets seem to retain their longevity benefits while the county has changed its longevity policy because of financial constraints.
The commissioners discussed a number of issues pertaining to the budget recommended by County Manager Cary McSwain but made no decisions about changes. They are scheduled to adopt the new budget at their regular meeting on June 7.
“In this time of crime and drug abuse, this isn’t the time to take deputies off the road and put them in the courthouse. I hope we’ll consider putting that back in the sheriff’s budget,” Picerno said.
Picerno also expressed concern about a proposal to cut the early tax payment discount from 2 percent to 1 percent, as a means of saving more than $250,000. He said such a reduction amounts to a tax increase for property owners who pay their taxes early and expressed the opinion that one effect would be to increase their mortgage payments because many of the early payments are handled through mortgage agreements.
In other business the board learned that because of a change in tax bases in some fire service districts, a few changes in tax rates may be in order, including Seven Lakes and Crains Creek.
The board voted unanimously to authorize the application for $1 million in federal Assistance to Firefighters Grants with the understanding that the county must provide a 25 percent match. Public Safety Director Bryan Phillips said the county would apply the grant to a needed upgrade in radio communications, estimated to cost $4.3 million to improve radio coverage throughout the county.
More details will appear in the print version of The Pilot.
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