BREAKING NEWS: Clay County Board of Commissioners Unanimously Approve Fiscal Year 2022-2023 Budget Ordinance:
On Thursday, June 16, 2022, the Clay County Commissioners unanimously approved the FY 2022-2023 Budget. The budget is balanced in accordance with the Local Government Budget and Fiscal Control Act with general fund revenues and expenditures each totaling $23,527,625.35. The tax rate remains unchanged at.43 mils per $100 of value for the fifth straight year.
As a result of previously implemented sound fiscal controls and strong budgetary policies, Commissioners were able to approve a budget which meets the needs of the county and places a continued emphasis on the retention and recruitment of employees while minimizing the tax burden on the citizens. This was especially important to us in our
current times of record inflation.
Some of the highlights of the budget include the following:
NO property tax increase
Debt service REDUCED from $1,393,020.00 in FY21/22 to $1,283,885.07, a decrease of $109,134.93 or 8%.
Sheriff's Office budget increased by $438,319.29 to $3,347,485.88. This represents a 15% increase and shows our continued commitment to public safety! Additionally, an application has been submitted to the Appropriations Community Funding Project in the amount of $300k. We hope to hear about this award in the near future.
Cost of Living Adjustment for all Clay County Employees in the amount of 5.0% and an increase in retirement contributions up to 12.16% for employees and 13.04% for law enforcement. These increases show Leadership's ongoing commitment to the previously mentioned retention and recruitment of superior employees to serve our citizens. On August 5, 2021, the BOCs approved a comprehensive salary and benefits study which resulted in an increase in salaries to market average plus 5%. In April of 2022, the BOCs also approved longevity pay.
$1,830,903.00 allocated to the Clay County Board of Education. This is an increase of $186,104.00 from FY21/22. This includes a 1.5% ($111,104.00) local supplement for certified teachers. The state had previously approved a recurring supplement for Clay County teachers in the amount of $2,871.00. There is also $75K for the purchase of adjoining land and $30K additional dollars moved from Public Health to the school to free up money which can be used for support staff bonuses or additional capital outlay.
15% increase in allocations to the Valley River Humane Society to offset additional costs for their animal services. Also, the animal control position has been moved from Public Health to the Sheriff's Department.
During the upcoming fiscal year, Clay County will continue to aggressively pursue grants for capital projects and program costs to help keep local tax dollars to a minimum.
This fiscal year, we will see the completion of our new Clay County Sports Complex. Phase Two is well underway. This is being done in part from a recently awarded $500K NC Parks and Trust Recreation Fund Grant.
We will also begin work on our new state of the art 911 facility, paid for with a $2.5M grant and a $2M match from the NC General Assembly.
We will also look to upgrade a few remaining and aging county facilities. One such project will utilize $40k of an $80k grant to replace the front of the library. The remaining balance will be used to automate the county courthouse entrance to provide easier entry for handicap individuals, repair a sewer issue at the newly renovated Senior Center, and to upgrade the community room in the Community Services Building.
The BOCs will also continue to work with the BOE in the coming year on the $32M grant award for a proposed new 3-8th grade school.
Replacing, updating and expanding critical infrastructure, such as broadband and water/sewer, will continue to be a priority as we further develop our capital improvement plans and look to entice further economic development.
The Clay County Board of Commissioners is thankful for the opportunity to serve and will continue to provide fiscally responsible leadership for the citizens of Clay County