The Anson County Board of Commissioners got an overview of the proposed fiscal year 2014-15 budget from County Manager Lawrence Gatewood at the regular monthly meeting June 3.
“The budget is very, very tight,” Gatewood said, “but Anson County is by no means destitute.”
The proposed budget maintains the county’s tax rate of 76.7 cents per $100 of evaluation, and maintains a healthy fund balance, he added.
Rising health insurance rate increases have forced cost-cutting measures, Gatewood said, with the per-month per-employee cost rising to $693. “If costs continue to escalate,” he said, “I’m not sure we will be able to continue to provide 100 percent coverage for our employees.”
Due to funding limitations, Gatewood said the county could not fulfill all of its requests for funding. Anson County Schools requested a total of $4,271,627, a 2.53-percent increase over its funding for the previous fiscal year. The recommended budget includes only $4,166,309 for the schools. South Piedmont Community College’s funding request was up 78 percent from the previous year, and Gatewood said the county could only fund $793,879 of the college’s $1,412,643 request. In addition, the county will fund $10,000 of Union County Community Action’s $25,000 request.
“This budget does not include funding for the Taste of the Pee Dee fall festival, the arts council or the historical commission,” Gatewood said. “We simply do not have the funds available.”
The proposed budget is available for all county residents to review. It is available at the Hampton B. Allen Library or from the Clerk to the Board Bonnie Huntley at the Anson County Government Center, 101 S. Greene St., Suite 205, Wadesboro.
A public hearing on the budget is planned for June 19 at 6 p.m. in the Commissioners Meeting Room at the government center.