Proposed Vance County budget includes property tax increase

May. 05, 2014 @ 11:05 PM

It may be time for a property tax increase, according to County Manager Jerry Ayscue. 

Ayscue's proposed budget presented at the Vance County Board of Commissioners' meeting Monday night included about a 4 percent increase to the ad valorem rate, bringing it to 81 cents next fiscal year. The county's rate has been at 78 cents for the last five years.

“This a budget that addresses many needs in the county,” he said.

Before commissioners adopt a budget, however, the county will hold a series of work sessions and public hearings.

Also during the meeting, board members decided they need more information before requesting Duke Energy clean up the Dan River, which flows into Kerr Lake.

The Board of Commissioners reviewed a resolution that urged Duke Energy to clean the waterways of any coal combustion waste — also known as coal ash — that flowed into the river after its impoundment broke Feb. 2, spilling thousands of tons of waste into the Dan.

The board approved the resolution with a caveat; some commissioners requested more accurate numbers about the damage the spill caused.

Vice Chairman Archie Taylor said the final figures are irrelevant.

“If there is coal there, it doesn't matter that there is one barrel or three barrels,” he said.

The board decided to more forward with investigating the shift of power of the Recreation and Parks Department, hoping to incorporated it in next year's budget plan. Currently, the department is jointly funded by the city and county, with Henderson contributing a majority of funding; however, the city council requested county commissioners look at contributing a greater share.

Chairwoman Deborah Brown proposed an ad hoc committee that accommodated all areas that the board would need to review.

Commissioners Terry Garrison, Gordon Wilder and Dan Brummitt were appointed to the committee, which Taylor said was unnecessary.

Despite Taylor's objections, the board approved the ad hoc committee with a 5-2 vote.

The board also:

• Heard a request from Pittsburgh resident Jim Barker to officially name a stream that flows into Flat Creek after his relatives, who previously lived on land nearby.

The board agreed to hold a public hearing before its June meeting.

• Received reports as the Water District Board that the county's Phase 2A and 2B of the water project are running according to schedule, with more than 50 percent of work complete.

• Approved putting the armory up for sale as well as revisions to the farmers market guidelines.

The armory sale included a provision that buyers do something with the property within three years of its purchase.

 

Contact the writer at dhairston@hendersondispatch.com.