Alexander County Commissioners heard budget proposals for the 2018-19 county budget from five county departments and the Alexander County School System at the April 9th board meeting. Departments presenting their budget requests included the Alexander County Health Department, Department of Social Services, EMS, Emergency Services, and Sheriff’s Office.
At the meeting, department heads provided brief overviews of their department’s role in serving the community, and presented their budget requests for the upcoming fiscal year.
Currently, the General Fund budget requests for 2018-19 total $41,509,517, while estimated revenues for the General Fund total $38,431,993. If no changes were made, this would result in using $3,077,524 of fund balance.
Ronnie Reese, Chairman of the Alexander County Board of Commissioners, said that the board’s finance committee will meet to analyze the budget requests and meet with school administration and county department heads in the next few weeks to make adjustments to the budget requests.
“The budget process is a difficult one, as we try to balance the departmental needs while being fiscally responsible,” Reese stated. “We have to look at the big picture and make some hard decisions that we believe are best for our county and our citizens. We do not take this lightly as we strive for efficient use of taxpayer dollars.”
Leeanne Whisnant, Health Director, presented her department’s budget request, which totals $2,714,714 for 2018-19, of which $669,974 would be from county funds.
Trish Baker, DSS Director, presented the budget request for her department, which totaled $8,228,031, of which $3,063,685 would be from county funds.
Doug Gillispie, EMS Director, presented the budget request for his department, which totaled $3,278,819.
Russell Greene, Emergency Services Director, presented the budget request for his department, which totaled $346,659. Greene noted that each fire department submitted a budget request based on their needs and the amount of fire tax collected in their district.
Sheriff Chris Bowman, Captain Chad Pennell, Captain Phillip Starnes, and 911 Communications Director Greg Foster presented their budget requests. The proposed budget for the Sheriff’s Office is $3,342,030. The proposed budget for Detention is $2,656,068. The proposed budget for 911 Communications is $1,074,148.
Dr. Jennifer Hefner, Superintendent of Alexander County Schools, presented the budget request on behalf of the Board of Education. The school system is requesting an increase from the current allocation of $6,031,900 to $7,009,801 for the 2018-19 school year.
The tentative schedule for the 2018-19 county budget is to hold a public hearing on May 7th with adoption of the budget on May 14th.