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Public silent at county budget hearing

Staff report

The public had its chance to speak, and it chose not to take it.
The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners held a public hearing on the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget at its meeting on Monday and when chairman Alex Patton opened the session to comments, not a single person stepped up to the podium.
The Board of Commissioners had already reviewed the budget, the last penned by outgoing county manager George Wood, and found no major changes from last year.
The county’s property tax rate would remain at 59.8 cents according to the new budget. County employees would not see a cost-of-living adjustment or a merit-based raise as a result of increases to both insurance costs and worker’s compensation premiums.
Three fire departments — Howard’s Creek, North Brook and South Fork — asked for increases in their district tax rates to offset the cost of various improvements and equipment purchases. Lincoln County Schools will receive $481,000, down from an initial request by the system for $632,947.
Commissioners are expected to vote on the budget on June 17.
Monday’s meeting was preceded by a public hearing on the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget for the East Lincoln Water and Sewer District, which included an increase in tax rate from 3.55 cents to 3.59 cents. No public comment was made at the hearing, and the board approved the budget unanimously.
In other Board of Commissioners action on Monday:
Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution requesting the closure of a portion of Caswell Road. A representative of the Department of Transportation was not in attendance.
Commissioners received an update and a change order on the Rock Springs Park project, which carried unanimously.
Commissioners heard two public zoning hearings, both of which were later unanimously approved by the Planning Board. C4 Development, LLC requested a rezoning of .26 acres on a 1.6-acre parcel from residential single-family to neighborhood business. The lot is located just west of Forest Hills Drive in Catawba Springs Township. Michael Shuford requested a conditional use permit to place a manufactured home in the residential suburban district of North Brook Township.
The Board also met in a closed session.

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