The Dare County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing for the county’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2022-2023 at 5 p.m. on Monday, May 16, 2022. The public hearing will take place in the commissioners’ meeting room, which is adjacent to the Dare County Administration Building located at 954 Marshall C. Collins Drive in Manteo.
In-person comments can be made during the public hearing in Manteo, as well as at the Fessenden Center, which is located at 46830 N.C. Highway 12 in Buxton.
Dare County Manager Bobby Outten presented the county’s recommended budget for fiscal year 2022-2023 to the Dare County Board of Commissioners at the board’s meeting that was held on Monday, May 2, 2022.
General Fund Budget Expenditures
Of the proposed $123,964,551 General Fund budget, the largest expenditures are allocated to public safety (29 percent), education (20 percent), human services (15 percent) and general government (15 percent), with the remaining portions of the fund dedicated to economic and physical development, environmental protection, and cultural and recreational expenses, as well as the Dare County Regional Airport and transfers to other funds. (The chart below shows proposed expenditures for the next fiscal year as a percentage of total by function).
The recommended budget includes no property tax increase—with the property tax rate to remain at 40.05 cents per $100 of assessed value—and preserves Dare County’s high-quality service delivery to residents, property owners and visitors while also addressing the goals of the Dare County Board of Commissioners.
Capital Improvement Plan Projects
The proposed 2022-2023 budget also includes funding for several Capital Improvement Plan projects, including:
- Major maintenance for the EMS Department’s MedFlight helicopter
- New computers for the Dare County IT Department, as well as complete replacement of the AV system and screens in Dare County’s Emergency Operations Center and 911 Communications Center
- New state-compliant voting machines
- Various Dare County Schools improvements
- Renovations to the Dare County Detention Center
- New lighting installation for the athletic fields behind First Flight High School and First Flight Middle School
- Replacement of the Public Works facilities in Manteo and Buxton
- Four new pieces of Public Works equipment (backhoe, loader, green climber and excavator)
The water rate model update and recommended capital improvement plan for fiscal year 2023 has been completed, with the budget proposing an annual 2 percent rate increase for water customers located within the unincorporated areas of Dare County over the next five years. This rate increase will provide the funding for a variety of recommended projects, including $1 million for the replacement of a portion of the water main that runs between the villages of Avon and Buxton on Hatteras Island.
Large Item Pickup
In addition to the increased water rate, $275,000 has been added to the proposed budget for fiscal year 2022-2023 in order to contract out Dare County’s large item pickup service for the unincorporated areas of the county. Although large item pickup was previously performed by Dare County Public Works staff in years past, the county began contracting out the service to a private company in 2022 due to staffing shortages and other demands and priorities within the department.
Dare County Schools
Dare County’s contribution to Dare County Schools for the 2022-2023 fiscal year is proposed to increase by $1.45 million from the previous fiscal year for a local funding total of $26.7 million, which consists of $25.3 million in current expenses, as well as $1.3 million for county-employed school nurses and school resource officers.
In an effort to attract and retain educators, an increase of $250,000 in local teacher supplements is allocated to Dare County Schools. According to the county manager’s proposed budget, the 2022-2023 General Fund expenditures for Dare County Schools total $4,901 per student.
Dare County Employees
The proposed budget also dedicates a significant amount of funding for the addition of several essential Dare County positions, including six new EMS positions (three EMS lieutenants, three EMT intermediates and two EMT paramedics), a Transportation Department driver, a grounds maintenance crew leader and a facilities maintenance technician for the Public Works Department, as well as three telecommunicators for the Dare County Sheriff’s Office.
Also included in the recommended budget is $500,000 for the implementation of an employee classification and compensation study that is currently being conducted by Evergreen Solutions, a public sector management consulting firm based in Florida, as well as a 5 percent cost of living adjustment for full-time and part-time Dare County employees designed to help reduce the county’s turnover rate and keep salaries competitive with similar local government agencies.
To view a video of Outten’s presentation of the county’s proposed budget at the May 12, 2022, Dare County Board of Commissioners meeting, click here and navigate to Item 10 on the agenda. To view the complete proposed manager’s budget for fiscal year 2022-2023, please click here.