At their regular meeting held Monday evening, the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners passed the fiscal year 2021 budget. This budget breaks down by department as follows:
General Government $14,691,212
Public Safety $32,988,009
Economic and Physical Development $ 2,115,250
Human Services $19,669,234
Cultural and Recreation $3,132,336
Debt Service $15,212,350
Other Financing Uses $1,153,035
At the public hearing held earlier in the month, community members came out in force asking for the commissioners to reconsider the decrease in funding to the school system. Lincoln County Schools requested a total of $27,464,520 (this includes a local appropriation to Lincoln County charter schools) but will be receiving 5% less than what they received in FY20. Teachers, limited to those in classrooms in front of students, will receive a 2% supplemental increase.
After the budget was passed, Commissioner Anita McCall stated that it wasn’t the intention of the commissioners to leave anyone out with the supplemental increase.
“We wish our staff to examine all requested information provided by the school administration within the next 30 days to include positions such as, but not limited to, social workers, guidance counselors, psychologists, speech and language folks,” she said. “The positions will be gone over by fine tooth comb to verify that we didn’t leave any unintended employees out. At that time, we’ll amend the budget.”
At the close of the meeting, Commissioner Milton Sigmon commented that at the June 1 meeting there was concern over funding to the schools.
“Here’s what’s taken place,” he said. “The budget which we just passed includes funding for the school system. Federal dollars from the CARE Act are funneling into the county. Regarding how much money the school system will also receive and will have at their disposal is actually going to be greater than it was for 2020. We as the board of commissioners do care greatly about education and we certainly look forward to working in the future with all folks within the school system. The school system should be in good shape with the budget we just passed and this money coming in.”
Also at the meeting, the commissioners voted to award McGill Associates with the contract for the joint Parks and Recreational Master Plan with the City of Lincolnton. The County's portion of the contract is $62,650. The city approved McGill Associates at their last regular meeting.
A resolution as to issuance of enterprise system revenue bonds to construction the expansion of the wastewater treatment plant.
The board approved a Fire and Rescue Services Agreement with the City of Lincolnton for services to be provided by the Boger City Fire Department. The Boger City Fire Department will be consolidated with the City of Lincolnton Fire Department effective July 1.
A Request from Sheriff Bill Beam to change a captain to a major was approved by the commissioners.