There were no speakers this morning during a public hearing held in a virtual format on Halifax County’s proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
Final adoption of the county’s $46,569,588 financial plan is scheduled for June 21 at 9:30 a.m.
County Attorney Glynn Rollins said there will have to be amendments to the county’s budget ordinance made before that time in the form of adjustments to the county’s tipping, disposal and solid waste availability fee.
Those adjustments are necessary after commissioners by a 5-1 measure approved a $1.63 increase in what Unity of the Carolinas is charging the county for hauling trash to a Waste Management landfill in Waverly, Virginia. Commissioner Patrick Qualls voted against the measure.
A company representative today had asked for an adjustment from $40.60 to $43.89 per ton, a request county Public Utilities Director Greg Griffin said the solid waste advisory board shot down.
Griffin, however, offered the $1.63 as a compromise.
Willie Goode, one of the owners of Unity, said the amount the landfill charges went up and there has been a 20 to 25 percent increase in the amount of trash the company is hauling to Waverly.
Meanwhile, County Manager Tony Brown, who presented the board with his budget message in May, said of the spending plan, “I think the budget is a good budget. It will provide for the county’s needs next year.”
The budget features, as Brown outlined last month, include:
Continuing services at efficient and effective levels.
No property tax increase.
This budget does not include a property tax increase.
Based on an estimated property tax base of $3,506,578,947 and a tax collection rate of 97.5 percent.
Maintains the tax rate of $.76 cents per $100 value.
Increases the funding for each graded school district from $743.29 per pupil to $749.55 per pupil based on average daily membership.
Provides a competitive benefits package, which includes 100 percent paid premiums for health coverage for each full-time employee who participates in the county’s wellness program.
With increasing health costs, the proposed budget had to absorb a 4 percent premium increase to maintain employee health coverage.
Maintains longevity pay
Provides a 3 percent cost of living adjustment and step increase for full-time employees, as well as a bonus for full-time and regular part-time employees.
Funds the pay-for-performance evaluation plan.
Provides a floating holiday.
Continues a hiring freeze, previous staff reductions and travel restrictions, which will remain in effect throughout this budget year.
Includes funds to support both economic development and contingency operations.
Continues to require employees to use county vehicles, when available, for travel. This policy amounts to a savings of over 60 percent in travel costs versus paying mileage for use of personal vehicles.
Funds needed capital outlay for county departments.
Provides additional funding to non-profit community partners in the amount of $310,647.