RALEIGH - State leaders representing Rutherford County tout securing $36.7 million over the next two years for county projects, including $14.5 million for Lake Lure.

Last week's approved state budget includes a number of key appropriations for Rutherford. Sen. Ralph Hise and Rep. David Rogers claim they helped secure the funding in the compromise state budget approved by the General Assembly and later signed by the Gov. Roy Cooper.

“I’m incredibly grateful to Rep. Rogers for his help in securing these appropriations," Hise said. "We’ve spent months negotiating in good faith with the Governor. I’m proud to see this budget has finally been signed into law. It’s our responsibility to spend North Carolinians’ dollars wisely and this year’s budget builds on that with sweeping tax cuts and major infrastructure improvements, including $36,703,225 for Rutherford County.”

Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) said, “Sen. Hise was instrumental in getting critical infrastructure and other projects approved for his district.”

Faced with significant capital needs, the town of Lake Lure was the largest local beneficiary of the budget. With improvements needed for the dam, state leaders approved $16.5 million for repairs on the century-old dam. Another $8 million is earmarked for improvements with Lake Lure's water and sewer projects. 

Isothermal Community College was the county's next largest beneficiary with the school getting $5 million. 

Renovations for the county's courthouse gained a $3.1 million appropriation.

Another $2.5 million was allocated toward Rutherford County Forest City Soccer Complex.

Other county projects Hise and Rogers claim to have advocated for include: 

• City of Rutherfordton Downtown Facilities: $200,000

• Green River Access Inc. Gameland improvements: $150,000

• Town of Rutherfordton grant for new Fire/EMS Station: $500,000

• Town of Spindale EMS Base Expansion: $500,000

• Blue Ridge Hope: $90,000

• Rutherford Local Health Department Grant: $148,404

The state budget includes $100 million in recurring funds for a new state-funded teacher salary supplement for lower-wealth counties to help them recruit and retain high-quality teachers.

The state also budget also sets in motion a 10-year, $16.1 billion cash infrastructure and capital plan. It also includes a sweeping tax cut that reduces the personal income tax rate to 3.99% over six years and increases the zero-tax bracket to $25,500 for married filers. It increases the child tax deduction by $500 per child and eliminates the state income tax on military pensions.

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