Dare commissioners adopt budget for next fiscal year

Published 5:47 pm Saturday, June 24, 2023

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On Monday, June 5, 2023, Dare County Board of Commissioners adopted an operating budget for fiscal year 2024.

No one spoke at the scheduled public hearing.

The budget total for all funds is $224,553,176.

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The General Fund, which is the county’s operating budget, totals $130,083,408. Contributing to the $224.6 million total are capital investment at $27.8 million, special revenue at $50.8 million, water fund at $15.5 million, and other in the general fund at $331,728.

The property tax rate remains 40.05 cents per $100 valuation.

Employees receive a 3% cost of living adjustment in fiscal year 2024. Increases called for in the salary study and implemented Jan. 1, 2023 are funded.

The county’s health plan has no projected increase for next fiscal year.

Eleven positions are eliminated. One is added.

Grounds maintenance and recycling will be operated by contractors.

Dare County Schools will receive $26,895,243 for school operating costs under the funding formula developed in 2016. Additionally, the county will spend $1,411,058 from its operating budget for school nurses and school resource officers.

Two changes were made to the budget that was presented May 17, 2023. The changes did not affect the bottom line.

In telecommunications, one position was reclassified to system administrator. In the proposed budget, $667,181 was allocated to Emergency Medical Services to be allocated by staff. Changes were made to 21 different line items and included two full time positions and increase in an allocation for part time salaries.
A capital projects budget will be presented at a later time.

The adopted budget will be posted on darenc.gov/departments/finance under budget documents.

At the Monday meeting, the commissioners approved budget amendments to the current fiscal year budget.
A budget amendment for up to $500,000 from appropriated fund balance was transferred to capital projects to build recreational pickleball courts. The site is not yet selected. A professional services contract was submitted by Albemarle & Associates Ltd. for $41,775. County manager Robert L. Outten was authorized to sign the contract.

At the Rodanthe Harbor, the existing bulkhead needs to be replaced. In its current condition, safety concerns have been raised from those who use the area. “Replacing the bulkhead will improve safety, create existing docking space, and help slow future land erosion,” states the agenda packet. A budget amendment of $188,750 was approved. Northeastern Marine Construction provided project costs.

From the sanitation fund balance, $230,000 was allocated to cover fuel price increases and address maintenance and repairs on older trash trucks. Public works is in the second year of implementing a truck replacement plan.

A general accounting standard, accounting for leases, “requires leases with a term exceeding 12 months to be treated as a financial transaction. A budget amendment shows three equipment leases were initiated during Fiscal Year 2023: postage meter for General Services (60 months), digital wide format copier for Register of Deeds (60 months) and dishwashing machine for Detention Center (36 months),” states the agenda packet. The leases totaled $69,000.

Dare’s commissioners consented to the Dare County Tourism Board’s request to use $115,000 from its restricted fund for Outer Banks Visitors Bureau administrative offices renovations, including HVAC in the server room and construction of two additional offices.