Budget does not raise tax rate

Published 6:54 pm Tuesday, June 4, 2013

When it comes to the 2013-2014 fiscal year budget for Beaufort County, for taxpayers and the county, it’s pretty much a status-quo spending plan.

The Beaufort County Board of Commissioners, by a 4-3 vote Monday, approved the nearly $54 million budget that keeps the property-tax rate at its current 53 cents per $100 valuation, does not raise fees for county services and does not raise rates for the county’s water customers.

Commissioners Al Klemm, Robert Belcher, Ed Booth and board Chairman Jerry Langley voted for a budget proposed by Klemm. Commissioners Gary Brinn, Stan Deatherage voted against it. Klemm’s budget reflects the budget first proposed by County Manager Randell Woodruff, but with some modifications that result in about $250,000 in cuts.

A motion by Commissioner Hood Richardson to send the original proposed budget back to Woodruff with instructions to reduce the proposed budget to the amount of the current budget failed. A motion by Brinn to reduce the proposed budget by $1 million failed, with Brinn, Richardson and Deatherage voting for it and the other commissioners voting against it.

The budget approval came after a public hearing at which the majority of speakers asked for the county to provide increased funding education, specifically for Beaufort County Schools and Beaufort County Community College. BCS Superintendent Don Phipps said not fully funding the school system’s request would result in the loss of instructional staff. Cindy Winstead, chairwoman of the Beaufort County Board of Education, echoed Phipps’ concerns.

Steve Swain asked the commissioners to restore $10,000 to the Sidney Dive Team. The commissioners had removed the funding from the proposed budget, but it was restored in the adopted budget.

Shields Harvey and Rod Cantrell, BCCC trustees, asked the commissioners to provide the community college with as much county funding as possible, saying BCCC provides invaluable educational and job-training opportunities to county residents.

For more coverage of the board’s meeting, including budget details, see future editions of the Washington Daily News

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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