Budget adopted, manager hired in Granville County

Jun. 18, 2013 @ 06:49 PM

OXFORD — Property taxes are officially going up in Granville County. And a new county manager with a familiar face, finance director Mike Felts, has been chosen to replace the departing Brian Alligood.

By 5-2 vote, the county commissioners adopted a fiscal year 2014 budget that raises the tax rate on real property by 3.5 cents per $100 valuation. The current rate is 79.5 cents per $100 valuation.

Commissioners Zelodis Jay and Ed Mims voted against adopting the budget.

“It is not the budget itself as much as it’s how we arrived at it that I have concerns about,” Mims said.

He questioned the appropriateness of maintaining the county’s fund balance at the current level while raising taxes.

In past meetings, Jay has objected to raising taxes during a time when many residents are suffering in a struggling the economy.

The original budget proposal prepared by Alligood and the county staff included no change in the tax rate. The increase came after lively discussions among the commissioners at budget work sessions in which they considered requests from Granville County Schools for $957,671 for capital expenditures to complete work on Granville Central High School and $301,707 for ongoing maintenance throughout the school district. These were included in the budget the commissioners adopted on Monday.

Ad valorem tax revenue will provide $33,271,969 of the general fund total of $53,272,481. Other revenue will leave a shortfall of $1,735,002, which will be appropriated from the fund balance to balance the budget.

Special funds include:

• Emergency Telephone System Fund: $401,740.

• R.H. Thornton Library Memorial Fund: $10,300.

• Solid Waste Convenience Sites Fund: $1,050,300.

• Construction and Demolition Landfill Fund: $1,416,659.

• Storm Water Management Fund: $332.094.

The commissioners went into closed session and emerged with an action to name Felts the new county manager.

Commissioner Tony Cozart led the search committee that also included commissioners Dave Currin and David Smith.

Cozart moved for the hiring of Felts, Smith seconded and the board approved his hiring unanimously.

Felts starts his new duties July 1.

The county will now being the task of searching for a new finance director.

Alligood resigned his position in order to become the town manager in Washington, moving to eastern North Carolina to be closer to where he grew up and near family.

 

Contact the writer at dirvine@hendersondispatch.com.