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Chatham Commissioners Adopt Proposed FY19 Chatham Budget with No Tax Increase

Post Date:06/19/2018 4:40 PM
On June 18, 2018, the Chatham County Board of Commissioners adopted the county budget for fiscal year 2018-19, with one small change in the version proposed by the County Manager. The general fund budget of slightly more than $114 million will maintain the property tax rate of 62.81 cents (or $0.6281).

The one change in the proposed budget version adds $35,000 to health preparedness in the Health Department, which helps our communities be ready for pandemics, widespread diseases, bioterrorism and other disasters that can impact public health. Staff identified additional revenues to cover this revision.

County Manager Renee Paschal noted that even the tax rate stays the same, an estimated two percent growth in revenues will help the county address growing demands for some services and provide critical funding for education.

Chatham County Commissioner Chair Diana Hales said, “The budget reflects who we are, and what we value. We are fully funding our educational needs, along with teacher pay supplements. We will build two new public schools that will open in a few years.”

Hales said that the new Central Carolina Community College Health Sciences Building will give young people and the existing workers to take courses needed to fill important health care roles in the region. The facility will break ground soon.

“Chatham’s first countywide master water and sewer plan is being developed in collaboration with our towns,” Hales noted. “This is a vital first step to plan our infrastructure to serve an expanding population. Sadly, this growth also means that affordable housing will be in short supply. To that end, we have established a trust fund to attract low-income housing developers so no one is left behind as Chatham prospers.”

Hales pointed out that the entire budget document reflects that Chatham County’s Board of Commissioners has committed to working toward several goals of the adopted Comprehensive Plan for Chatham County. “This budget helps us begin that important journey.”

Paschal noted that besides affordable housing and long-term water and wastewater capacity, the budget addresses other aspects of the Comprehensive Plan, including development of a streamlined Unified Development Ordinance and completion of a master plan for Parks and Recreation.”

The adopted budget increases funding for K-12 school operations by four percent, which does not count funds for school facility debt service and capital projects. How the additional funding will be spent will depend on how much state funding will be provided to help pay for smaller class sizes in grades K-3.

To view more details, the entire proposed county budget is found online, but does not yet have the minor adjustment made. The final adopted budget should be posted on website in late July.