In an overview of the proposed 2021-22 budget during Monday’s county commissioners’ meeting, County Manager Vincent Jones said that the coming fiscal year continues to be a challenge as the county enters pandemic recovery.

The meeting followed several public hearings, including one on the budget that no one attended.

The $36.3 million General Fund budget maintains the county tax rate at 81 cents per $100 valuation and appropriates $939,987 from unrestricted fund balance, or cash reserves, while maintaining compliance with the county’s fund balance policy.

In the coming fiscal year, revenue from property taxes is budgeted to drop $494,632 due to property tax value decreases.

The draft budget funds Warren County Schools at $5.68 million, up from $5.43 million in the current year. This includes $119,000 for the SEMAA program. An additional $1.2 million will come from lottery funds for roof replacement at the middle school.

Significant expenditures include: $175,000 for the county’s broadband initiative; $191,161 to continue modified implementation of a compensation study; $75,000 for a state mandated comprehensive plan update; and $250,775 for financing of new vehicles in emergency medical services, sheriff’s office, buildings and grounds, and public utilities. 

The proposed budget also includes $45,000 in additional support for Warren County Rescue Squad; $31,500 in additional support for Warren County volunteer fire departments as well as $80,000 to support Warren County volunteer fire department paid firefighter initiative; $35,000 to implement a litter control pilot program; $20,000 for satellite recreation programs; $40,000 in nonprofit funding; $100,000 for retiree health insurance; and $123,500 for insurance inflation.

Also, new positions are funded in the health department, emergency medical services, animal control and community services, budgeted for a total of $292,952.

Lake Gaston weed control continues to be funded at $116,000. Vance-Granville Community College is supported at $231,635.

Documents related to the proposed county budget are available on the county website at warrencountync.com.

County commissioners will meet Wednesday, June 23, at 6 p.m. to adopt the budget.