May 9, 2014
Schools again a top priority in Dare
County manager’s proposed budget
Manager Bobby Outten presented his proposed budget for fiscal year 2015
at the Dare County Board of Commissioners’ meeting on Monday, May
5. Outten outlined a plan that maintains the current property tax
rate of 43 cents, the 10th lowest in the state, and also keeps the
board’s priorities, including:
- Maintaining, but not expanding, county service levels
- Working within existing revenue sources
- Addressing funding for the fund deficit in the insurance Fund
- Increasing the fund balance of the general fund
addition to these goals, the proposed budget again establishes
education as a top priority, with almost 31 percent of the county
budget allocated to schools and debt service.
presented, Dare County would contribute $3,958 per student in FY 2015,
once again making Dare County Schools the top locally-funded school
system in the State of North Carolina. Not included in that
total are school nurses and school resource officers, to which the
county is also committed.
While presenting his
recommendations, Outten pointed out that since 2006, after the last
funding was added for a new school facility, the county’s funding for
schools has increased over 27 percent, while the number of students has
increased less than 1 percent. This is a pattern that is not
sustainable, Outten emphasized.
Outten also expressed
great concern for the lack of maintenance being performed at local
school facilities. He said that many maintenance items that
should be included as part of a school system’s operating budget have
been ignored. In addition, he said the Board of
Education did not express interest in the County’s proposal to consolidate county and school
maintenance departments to better address maintenance issues on an ongoing basis.
order to address the most pressing maintenance concerns identified by
the Board of Education, Outten’s budget proposal directs $1.4 million
of the local school funding specifically for those projects, to be paid
by the County as completed.
To view a video of Manager
Outten’s presentation of proposed funding for schools and additional
information regarding the FY 2015 proposed budget, visit the Dare
County website at www.darenc.com.
Board of Commissioners will conduct a public hearing for the proposed
budget at its meeting on Monday, May 19, at 5:30 p.m. Additional
information regarding the hearing is also available on the website.