Residents air concerns about budget

Jun. 02, 2014 @ 09:51 PM

Members of the public brought concerns to the Vance County Board of Commissioners meeting Monday night concerning property tax and county employee pay increases.

Susette McLendon said she opposed allocating more money to departments such as planning and development — which requested about $100,000 more in funds for the next fiscal year — when it hasn't contributed to the county's growth.

"With the crime rate so high and the school system being 115 out of 115, that is not going to get businesses in here to raise the tax base," she said.

McLendon and another resident, Michael Bobbitt, said the board should take a business approach to cut their budget and residents' taxes that doesn't waste time going over the budget line by line.

"Anyone can cherry pick this 44 million budget or any budget; that's simple," Bobbitt said. "It is just as simple to declare the budget must be reduced by 3.2 percent without outlining a means to that end. The real work is finding a balance between the revenue streams and the mandates, the expectations and the needs of Vance County's residents without personal agenda clouding one's thinking."

Chairwoman Deborah Brown said all comments would be taken into consideration at the next budget work session Tuesday.

The rezoning for the parcel at 95 Old Popular Creek Road from residential to commercial raised some questions from the public.

Director of Planning and Development Jordan McMillen addressed the issues, ranging from the effect the rezoning would have on surrounding property values to how a potential historical landmark would be affected.

He said property taxes would not be affected, and the property's owners found it does not quality for historical landmark status.

Tom Church, board member of the Vance County Economic Development Commission, said he supported the request.

"I am in favor of this rezoning request because it offers job opportunities in our community," he said.

The board approved the rezoning request unanimously.

The board also:

• Approve naming the creek near Barker Road Barker Creek.

• Approved a resolution of appreciation for Alan Gill, presenting him with a plaque celebrating his work with Henderson-Vance Recreation and Parks and well wishes in his requirement.

• Approved Vance County as a Purple Heart County in honor of wounded soldiers.

• Tabled Tax Administrator Porcha Brooks' recommendation to go with Pearson Appraisal Services for the property revaluation required in 2015. The board moved to send the recommendation to the properties committee for further review.

 

Contact the writer at dhairston@hendersondispatch.com.