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Commissioners today unanimously approved the Halifax County budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

There were some changes made during the morning meeting which brought the total balanced financial plan to $51,923,617.

The budget contains no tax rate increase.

County Manager Dia Denton noted the following changes in the plan:

$15,000 in proposed funding to the Choanoke Area Development Association was pulled which reduced outside funding from $79,500 to $64,500.

$58,000 in proposed funding to the Lake Gaston Weed Control Council was pulled which reduced the transfer-support services line from $2,185,170 to $2,127,170. As a result the transfer from fund balance was reduced from $4,873,905 to $4,800,905. The proposed funding for CADA and the weed council will be considered at the board’s July 11 meeting.

In addition to those changes and based on recent discussions with Unity of the Carolinas, the board allowed for a fuel surcharge to include a $4.50 per gallon base price and a $6.50 per gallon maximum.

“I would like to congratulate Dia and all of her staff and all of our county employees on putting together a very good budget,” Commissioner Patrick Qualls said in his motion to approve the plan. “In her first year as county manager, Dia you’ve done a wonderful job.”

Denton said of the budget, “We’re thrilled. It was certainly a team effort.”

In another matter commissioners approved an agreement between the county and Trillium Health Resources that allows the company to contract for inclusive playground equipment to be added to the play area at the 4-H Rural Life Center.

Denton said a similar agreement between Trillium and the town of Scotland Neck will be presented to that board next week for approval of an inclusive playground to be located adjacent to the town’s municipal complex. 

She said that project aligns with a playground effort by the non-profit organization Scotland Neck Rising. That project was brought to staff’s attention during the Recreation Partners grant process and will create a play space in the southeastern area of Halifax County, which was a goal of the recreation master plan.

The total project cost of equipment and installation at the two sites is $250,000 and will be funded entirely by Trillium.