County Manager presents “Plan B” on budget

Plan B was presented at county budget workshop

RUTHERFORD COUNTY, N.C. — After studying the proposed balanced budget presented by county manager Steve Garrison at the May 1 regular meeting, the commissioners requested a Plan B to consider with some additional funding for Rutherford County Schools (RCS) and Isothermal Community College.

Plan B involves drawing a larger sum from the Fund Balance, $1,575,000, and does not change the proposed property tax increase of  2¢ per $100 valuation.  Plan A only used $1M of fund balance. Also the $505,000 set-aside for school capital needs was eliminated in Plan B.

An 1.87% increase in funding for both Rutherford County Schools and Isothermal Community College were included. The proposed budget still does not provide full funding for many RCS projects.

Garrison expressed concerns over continually using fund balance to fund recurring expenses. The county, under former manager Carl Classen, and a different set of commissioners significantly ignored and underfunded county needs during their tenures. If this additional allocation is approved, the county fund balanced would be reduced to 24%, a number lower than the recommended 25-29%.

“As requested, the received a template of possible budget options The board is taking careful steps as they progress towards the decision for the final budgetary path for our County,” said Bryan King, chair of the RC Commissioners.

Mike Benfield was absent. The Commissioners will hold another budget workshop on May 22 at 4 p.m.

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