Up & Coming Weekly

May 30, 2023

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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8 UCW MAY 31 - JUNE 6, 2023 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM In a presentation ursday, May 25 Cumberland County administrators recommended to the Board of Com- missioners a $566.9 million budget for the next fiscal year with no changes in the property tax rate. But the plan also calls for more than doubling the solid waste fee. e proposed budget is more than last year's spending of $553.7 mil- lion, with an increase of $13.2 mil- lion. Actual spending for this fiscal year, however, is projected to land at $520.5 million by June 30, the end of fiscal year 2023. County Manager Clarence Grier, in his first budget presentation to the board since being hired earlier this year, said the economic challenges the county will face next year will be similar to that seen in the recent past. "As we look at the economic outlook and aftermath of COVID-19, we con- tinue to face some ongoing challeng- es and concerns such as the opioid addiction, mental health, upheaval due to the great resignation and wage growth that has caused inflation and supply-chain issues," Grier said. Solid waste fee increase While no property tax increase is recommended in the 2024 bud- get, the county staff recommended increasing the solid waste fee from the current $56 to $130, a move that the county projects will generate $7.1 million in revenue. e solid waste fee is what the county uses to operate its landfills. e county is also recommend- ing increases in landfill tipping fees, a measure projected to generate $254,000 a year. Beyond generating revenue, Grier said the increases will help finance construction and maintenance projects that will increase capac- ity at county landfills. e increases also, Grier said, will put Cumberland County more in line with neighboring counties. "Tipping fees are the lowest in our region of any other county around us," Grier said. "You can prevent oth- ers from bringing their waste to our landfills as we're trying to expand the capacity." School funding In the recommended budget, the county has allocated $87.5 million for Cumberland County Schools, a $3.2 million increase over last year. But it is lower than the $88.2 million that the Board of Education requested last month, CityView reported. As for Fayetteville Technical Com- munity College, the county is recom- mending funding of $15.4 million, up $1.2 million from last year but lower than the $16 million requested. Crown Center funding Earlier this month, the county unveiled the design for its $131.7 mil- lion Crown Event Center, a multipur- pose center in downtown Fayetteville that's set to replace the Crown e- ater and Arena, CityView reported. Revenue from the food and bever- age tax and the occupancy tax in the recommended budget will be used to finance that project. e event center is set to open by November 2025. Next steps e commissioners did not ask any questions following Grier's presenta- tion, but the board is scheduled to meet at 5:30 p.m. June 1 in Room 564 of the Cumberland County Court- house for a work session on the budget. A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for 7 p.m. June 7 in Room 118 at the courthouse. County staff recommends $566.9 million budget by BEN SESSOMS, CityView Today NEWS Equal Credit Opportunity Lender. JOIN AND SEE WHY! Making Banking Simple! • Apply Online • Get Direct Deposit Early • 30,000 Surcharge Free ATMs *Fees, terms, and conditions apply. See credit union for complete details. In compliance with the U.S.A. Patriot Act, we are required to obtain and verify identification provided for all new account owners and joint owners, using methods permitted by law. BEN SESSOMS, CityView Today. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcom- ingweekly.com 910-484-6200.

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