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Commissioners To Hold May 19 Hearing for Public Comment on the Proposed Budget

By Jesse Wood

The Watauga County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing on the proposed fiscal year 2015-16 budget on May 19, 2015 at 5:30 p.m. to allow for public comment.

County staff and commissioners finalized next year’s budget with two work sessions earlier this week.

The $44.6 million is a 6.1 percent decrease over the current year’s budget, according to Watauga County Manager Deron Geouque. The decrease in this year’s budget is attributable to a $2.8 million reduction in capital reserve budget and a $1 million reduction in debt service, according to Geouque.

The upcoming budget also features no increase to property taxes, which have remained at $0.0313 per $100 valuation for the past decade.

“Watauga County … remains financially strong and continues to rebound from the past economic downturn. Many counties throughout the state are envious of Watauga County’s financial strength,” Geouque summarized in his budget message to the commissioners. “Due to … prudent measures the county has been able to maintain the quality of services residents and citizens are accustomed to.

Following the public hearing, the commissioners will have a final chance to amend the budget before adopting the budget during next Tuesday’s meeting.

You can peruse the entire budget here.

For more information about the proposed budget, read prior articles listed below:

May 14, 2015: WCS Supt. Scott Elliott To Commissioners: Thanks For Budget Increase, WCS Needs More

May 14, 2015: Commissioners To Fund Two New Nonprofits, See List of Special Allocations for 2015-16

May 8, 2015: Watauga’s Recommended Budget Released: Decrease of 6 Percent, No Tax Increase