Leaving $592,242 in requests unfunded, the Lincoln County Budget Committee is moving its proposed budget for fiscal year 2020 forward to the county’s full legislative body this week with a $955,259 budgeted deficit that will be funded out of reserves.
That budget, which will lower the county’s unassigned fund balance to $3.2 million, is scheduled for a public hearing that will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 2, at the Lincoln County Courthouse. A summary of the proposed budget, as well as comparisons to the current year’s budget and previous year’s figures, is published on Page 7A of this week’s Times.
Reviewing historic data and charted trends during recent budget meetings, County Finance Director Cole Bradford noted that projections remain conservative – given that the county typically doesn’t spend all of its budgeted expenditures and that revenues typically come in better than budgeted due to conservative projections, the upcoming budget year is expected to end in the black.
The current fiscal year show revenues coming in at 105 percent of budgeted figures and expenditures landing at 97 percent of budgeted dollars.
With the completion of the recent reappraisal cycle, the county’s property tax rate is expected to decrease from $2.48 per $100 of assessed valuation to $2.102. Increased valuations of property within the county results in the decrease, as the reappraisal process is designed to be revenue neutral for the county.
Most notably, the proposed 2020 budget includes the following reoccurring allocations: $284,201 in pay increases for jail employees; $80,000 for a two-percent raise for deputies and general fund employees; $14,528 to move a part-time judicial commissioner to full-time; a $10,000 increase for the Humane Society of Lincoln County; and a $10,000 increase for Fayetteville-Lincoln County Industrial Development Board.
Budgeted non-reoccurring allocations include $161,520 for the purchase of digital radios for the sheriff’s department; $35,000 in improvements to the building which the county leases to the USDA; $14,500 in WiFi upgrades at the courthouse; $11,500 in election office upgrades; $15,000 for painting the exterior of the health department; and $10,000 for a facility study to include the EMA office, old city police building and lot.
Not funded in the proposed budget are the following proposals and requests: $375,000 for a building to house county archives; $200,000 for the purchase of the Whitney Stevens’ building on the square for use by planning and zoning as well as the emergency management agency; $38,269 for additional Lincoln Health System funding on its contract with the jail; $20,000 for vehicle maintenance and repairs due to the increased fleet size of the sheriff’s department; an $11,543 increase in funding for the Fayetteville-Lincoln County Public Library; $6,700 for additional vehicle maintenance and repairs for the jail; $6,000 in weather siren maintenance and the addition of a weather monitor; $4,500 for the Haven of Hope; $3,395 for a position move from one grade to another in the clerk and master’s office; $3,248 for Tennessee Backroads Heritage; $3,087 for a Trane maintenance agreement on units at the jail; and $500 for the Imagination Library of Lincoln County.
The proposed budget includes $14.5 million in general fund expenditures in the coming year, as well as $1.4 million in solid waste fund expenditures, $55,000 in the sheriff’s drug fund expenditures, $8.2 million in highway and public works fund expenditures, and $3.44 million in general debt service fund expenditures.
It also includes $31.3 million in anticipated general purpose school fund expenditures, $2.2 million in central cafeteria fund expenditures, $110,000 in extended school program fund expenditures, and $415,540 in education capital projects. Revenues from the state are expected to account for $22.6 million, while local tax revenues account for $6.65 million.
Allocations to outside agencies included in the proposed 2020 budget total $545,123.
Those include the following: $180,397 to FLC Industrial Development; $118,101, FLC Public Library; $55,000, length of service award program for volunteer firemen; $40,117, FLC Airport Authority; $37,500, Humane Society of Lincoln County; $35,000,Friends of FLC Veterans; $22,000, South Lincoln Recreation; $12,750, FLC Senior Citizens; $12,500, FLC Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau; $10,000, Fayetteville Main Street; $9,158, South Central Human Resource Agency; $5,000, Crime Stoppers; $4,000, Centerstone; $2,000, Tennessee Department of Agriculture Forestry Division; and $1,600, Petersburg Senior Citizens.