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Watauga County Commissioners To Hold Public Hearing on Proposed ’17-18 Budget on Tuesday

By Jesse Wood

The Watauga County Board of Commissioners will meet on Tuesday afternoon. The agenda includes a public hearing to allow citizen comment on the proposed 2017-18 county budget and a resolution of support regarding an entrance at Bamboo Road and U.S. 421 for the Town of Boone’s future municipal complex.

The proposed budget after last week’s workshops now features a 4-cent property tax increase from $0.313 to $0.353 cents per $100 valuation. This would generate enough revenue to fund $1.5 million to the county’s long-term Capital Improvement Plan for Watauga County Schools and $2.02 million for county community recreation facilities.

Watauga County currently has the second lowest property tax rate in the state of North Carolina at $.0313 cents per $100 valuation. If the 4-cent increase were to be approved, Watauga County would then rank fourth in the state – assuming no other changes to other counties.

Note that prior to budget workshops where the commissioners recommended some final changes, the general fund budget totaled $47,319,420. This, according to the budget message from Watauga County Manager Deron Geouque, represents a “a $1,815,041 increase over the adopted Fiscal Year 2016-2017 budget. The increase is attributable to $531,394 for the school system, $650,000 for pay plan study adjustments, and $400,000 for county capital needs. A substantial increase in Medicaid Hold Harmless was recognized to increase capital funding.”

Peruse the entire balanced budget here. Note that changes after the budget workshops with the commissioners are listed below. The 

A second public hearing is also scheduled for Tuesday evening regarding potential amendments to the “Ordinance to Govern Subdivisions and Multi-Unit Structures.” A few of the proposed amendments include the following additional text: “A minimum of 33 percent of the total land area must be dedicated to permanent green space,” and “Maximum [cut and fill] slopes shall be 2H:1V.”

On another topic, the Town of Boone is requesting a letter of support for the construction of a new entrance at the intersection of U.S. 421 and Bamboo Road. The entrance would serve the town’s future municipal complex and proposed county ball fields. Last year, the Town of Boone purchased nearly 54 acres for $4.6 million.

See the entire agenda and meeting packet for tomorrow’s meeting below and here.

The meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the Watauga County Administration Building next to the courthouse on King Street.

Note the following graphs are before the commissioner changes after budget workshops: