Public hearing on budget on county agenda

Jun. 02, 2013 @ 05:46 AM

The 2013-14 Rutherford County budget will highlight Monday's regular meeting of the Rutherford County Commission.

The state-mandated public hearing on the budget will be the first thing on the agenda when commissioners meet at 6 p.m.

During the past month, commissioners have held a series of budget meetings with officials from Rutherford County Schools and Isothermal Community College to examine budget requests from various departments for the coming year.

The initial budget presented reflects no increases from the 2012-13 budget. The only increases come in the form of business incentive payments the county will have due in the next fiscal year. Those payments equal approximately $3.1 million. The budget keeps the property tax rate the same as the previous year. The tax rate is budgeted to remain at a revenue-neutral rate of $0.607 for every $100 of property valuation.

However, both RCS and ICC requested additional funding to the tune of over $900,000. RCS is asking for $686,097 in additional county funding to cover the cost of state-mandated increases to employee costs and unemployment. The schools are also requesting additional funding to provide for increased security measures throughout the district. The security requests tally $604,464. ICC The ICC budget increase request was 10.43 percent, or $197,346 over the last fiscal year to account for energy cost increases, worker's compensation insurance increases and other cost increases.

Commissioner have also made budget requests including funding the RCS and ICC requests at 50 percent and adds $5,000 for Frank West Park, a public park in Caroleen.

Another request included keeping the County Service District — Fire Service — tax rate at their current levels or even reduced for those county fire departments with higher reserves. The provision of the amendment is that those fire departments use their reserves to offset any requested increases proposed for the upcoming budget year.

A review of all solid waste convenience sites and the exploration of consolidating one or more of those sites will also be discussed.

All the various amendments have not been completed for review.

At Monday's meeting, the public will have an opportunity to make comments about the proposed budget. Commissioners have to pass a budget resolution by June 30.