Government

Cumberland County Board of Commissioners approves FY2025 budget

By Staff Report, posted 1 week ago

The Cumberland County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously on Wednesday to adopt the County’s Fiscal Year 2025 budget. Commissioners adopted the budget during a work session that followed a public hearing on the budget, which was held in Room 118 of the Judge E. Maurice Braswell Cumberland County Courthouse.

The approved budget, which maintains the County’s current property tax rate of 79.9 cents per $100 valuation, includes the following adjustments from County Manager Clarence Grier’s recommended budget, which was presented to the Board on May 23, 2024.

 

  • An additional $1,000 for the Child Advocacy Center
  • An additional $50,000 for the Cumberland County Coordinating Council on Older Adults
  • An increase of $10,351 to account for a Library grant approved by the Board on June 3, 2024
  • A reduction of $2,640,331 related to the removal of salaries and benefits and operating expenses for School Resource Officers and Traffic Control Officers at schools in the county’s municipalities
  • A reduction of $577,000 in revenue from a security contract with the Board of Education
  • A reduction of fund balance appropriated in the amount of $2,012,331
  • An increase of $447,149 to the Opioid Settlement Fund due to a grant approved by the Board on April 16, 2024
  • An increase in the per diem for County Commissioners from $50 to $100
  • Allowing County Commissioners to enroll in the Local Government Employees' Retirement System (LGERS) effective July 1, 2024 pursuant to NCGS 153A-93d, contingent upon approval by LGERS

During the budget PUBLIC HEARING, there were six speakers who addressed the following topics:

  • Requesting increased funding for the Airborne & Special Operations Museum (ASOM) Foundation
  • Requesting increased funding for the Partnership for Children of Cumberland County

 The approved budget includes just over $582 million in expenditures across all County funds, with nearly $393 million appropriated for General Fund expenses. It includes a fund balance appropriation of $8.4 million, which is within the Board of Commissioners’ adopted policy thresholds.

 The budget continues to move forward with numerous Board of Commissioners’ priorities including constructing the new Crown Event Center, providing public water access to the Gray’s Creek Community, designing and building a Homeless Support Center, addressing the Public Health priorities of Maternal Mortality and Healthy Conversations, and enhancing Employee Recruitment and Retention.

In addition to continuing to fund previously approved initiatives like establishing Café West at West Regional Library to provide employment opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, opening an Employee Childcare Center and constructing a parking deck downtown, the FY 2025 budget also includes $150,000 for a new initiative to increase access to doula services for uninsured and underinsured individuals.

Additionally, the budget includes:

  • $562,000 in funding for Capital Outlay ($374,500 net cost), including $187,500 to boost Wi-Fi and Cellular access at the Department of Social Services, $37,000 for Court facilities, and $150,000 for Facility equipment replacement and building improvements
  • Funding to replace 17 vehicles at an estimated net cost of $1,355,225
  • Funding to address mandates including increased contribution rates to the retirement system and increased autopsy fees
  • $89.6 million in current expense funding for Cumberland County Schools, representing 43.47% of the property tax rate and an increase of more than $2 million from FY2024
  • $15.47 million in current expense funding for Fayetteville Technical Community College, along with $1.25 million for capital projects
  • No new positions due to existing vacancies and implementation of a Classification and Compensation Study for County employees; the recommended budget includes the abolishment of eight positions with an estimated savings of $502,190

Because of the implementation of the Classification and Compensation Plan in 2023, the budget does not include a cost-of-living increase for County employees. However, Grier said a one-time stipend for employees will be recommended later in the year after the County’s audit is completed.

The budget includes fee increases for the Solid Waste Enterprise Fund to support current operational needs and expansion of the current Ann Street Landfill. The budget includes increases to user fees, tire disposal fees, the City of Fayetteville yard waste rate, and the disposal fee for wooden pallets, clean lumber and clean logs. It additionally calls for a $37 increase to the annual Solid Waste household user fee.

The Board went into CLOSED SESSION to discuss a personnel matter pursuant to NCGS 143-318.11(a)(6).

The Board came out of CLOSED SESSION at 8:27 p.m.

The meeting was ADJOURNED at 8:32 p.m.

Because the Budget was adopted, the additional Budget Work Sessions scheduled for June 11, 19 and 20 will not be held.
For more information, visit the Budget & Performance Department page on the County website at cumberlandcountync.gov/budget.

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