At their regular business meeting on June 9, 2014 the Yancey County Commissioners adopted the spending plan for county government for the coming fiscal year. Just like North Carolina, Yancey County’s fiscal year is from July 1, 2014-June 30, 2015. This is one of the earliest budget adoptions in recent memory for the county.
Delivering his budget message to the Board of Commissioners and the citizens of the County, County Manager Nathan Bennett highlighted features of the adopted budget. According to Mr. Bennett, the budget addresses many of the priorities of Board including: the continued rebuilding of the county’s fund balance, which was at a low of negative 9% in 2008 and is projected to be near the state mandated 8% at the end of June; maintain essential public safety and basic services; make investments in infrastructure necessary to support economic prosperity. Mr. Bennett highlighted challenges faced by the County over the past several years including reduction in state funding for various funding, the federal sequester, and unfunded mandates handed down by North Carolina state government.
Other highlights of the 2014-15 budget include investments in economic development and making Yancey County a more desirable place to live and work. The budget makes appropriations to the expansion of sewer service to East Yancey as well as to TRACTOR, the regional agriculture processing center, for the continued support of agricultural as an economic driving force in the county. The budget also makes an appropriation for the continued development of Cane River Park in western Yancey County. This facility provides a number of recreational opportunities for people of all ages as the comprehensive recreation complex continues to be developed.
Mr. Bennett also highlighted an across the board 3% pay increase for county employees, only the second since 2008, and the maintaining of the current tax rate. In addition funding was maintained for Mayland Community College, the Yancey County Schools, and an increase to the Toe River Health District to bring Yancey County in line with the other two counties.
Chairman Johnny Riddle stated, “I am so proud of where we have come with our financial situation since I first took office in 2008. There have been lots of sacrifices that have been made and we are seeing the fruits of our labor. This is a good budget and I am very pleased with it.”
The adopted amount of the Yancey County budget for fiscal year 2014-15 is $20,531,540 which is about $750,000 less than the adopted amount of the fiscal year 2013-14 budget.