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Dare commissioners consider spending extra money now

The Dare County Board of Commissioners reviewed spending recommendations and draft budgets for fiscal years 2022 and 2023.

County manager Robert L. Outten made the presentation at the budget workshop Monday, May 3.

“We had a good year this year,” said Outten. Land transfer tax revenue is way up. This excess revenue is considered a “windfall.”

Outten recommends spending $5.1 million in this fiscal year to address financial and department budget requests for one-time, non-recurring expenditures. The recommendations will appear on the board’s May 17 meeting agenda.

The largest item is paying $2.48 million into the irrevocable trust for Law Enforcement Officers Special Separation Allowance. The payout addresses an outstanding liability. The county has been paying the allowance out of the General Fund and dealing with unexpected retirements. The trust account can now handle anticipated and surprise retirements. Only five counties in the state have eliminated the liability.

In Public Works, comp time earned in summer was spent in December and January when work slowed down but that’s not happening now. Some $40,980 will be used to pay out that comp time. Emergency Medical Services staff will benefit from payout of holiday time, estimated at $769,222. These are recommendations from the county manager.

Additional recommendations from the county manager are paving road and parking areas at Walker Park, $74,000; installing new light fixtures and drop ceiling at the Manteo library, $38,200; addressing flooring in hallways at the Justice Center, $24,500; and purchasing a flight operations and training manual, $40,000.

At a retreat, Dare commissioners added $200,000 for donation to Dare Challenge for its facility campaign; $100,000 for Roanoke Island Historical Association for seating replacement; and $500,000 for sedimentation and spoil sites studies and dredging at Hatteras and Oregon Inlet.

These expenditures total $4,268,414.

Some 20 requests from departments will also be accomplished in this current fiscal year. These requests total $837,085. The projects are:

– Dare Center, painting the interior.

– Emergency Management: purchasing testing and storm surge project equipment and pavilion building upgrades at the airport.

– Helicopter for Emergency Medical Services: new five-blade system tools and parts, certification and training, maintenance.

– Finance: scanner.

– Information Technology: GIS equipment and call manager update fee.

– Libraries: network printers.

– Parks and Recreation: repair of gates, hinges and fences.

– Planning: two check readers/printers, county ordinance update.

– Public Relations: website redesign one-time fee.

– Register of Deeds: carpet replacement, scanning birth and death records and records back to 1870.

– Tax Assessment: pictometry one-time fee.

– Fleet Maintenance: capital outlay.

Once the transactions are completed, the undesignated fund balance for Fiscal Year 2021 is expected to be 27.41% of revenue. The board’s policy is to maintain at least an undersigned fund balance of 21%.

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