Commissioners approve budget, lifeguard services on Ocracoke up and running

Published 7:57 pm Wednesday, June 11, 2014

On June 2, the Hyde County Commissioners, by a unanimous vote, approved the County’s $13 million budget for fiscal year 2014-2015. Manager Bill Rich and Finance Officer Corrinne Gibbs worked thoroughly to create the balanced budget. Despite a slow economy the new budget does not include any tax hikes and still manages to increase revenue granted to the Hyde County School System and the Department of Social Services. A three percent raise for County employees is included as well. The budget was first presented to the Commissioners on May 5 and critiqued in more depth during a budget workshop and public hearing.

Manager Rich also shared information concerning the status of the contract for lifeguard services on Ocracoke. Traditionally the National Park Service (NPS) has provided lifeguard services seven days per week between Memorial Day and Labor Day at the Ocracoke Day Use Area, often referred to as the “lifeguard beach”. This year, however, the NPS elected to only provide lifeguards 5 days/week. As a result the Board of Commissioners voted on May 5 to approve special one-time funding from Ocracoke occupancy tax revenue to cover the remaining two days. Manager Rich reported that the contract is finalized and lifeguard services on Ocracoke are already in full swing.