06/19/06 — County will hear budget comment

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County will hear budget comment

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on June 19, 2006 1:47 PM

Wayne County residents will have the opportunity to ask questions and express concerns over the proposed budget during the Board of Commissioners meeting Tuesday at 9:15 a.m.

Now that the proposed budget has been presented to the board, a copy is available to the public in Room 470 of the Wayne County Courthouse. The public hearing on Tuesday, which will be in the commissioners' meeting room on the fourth floor of the courthouse, is a chance for local residents to ask questions about any section of the budget or to make any other comments. If approved, the budget will go into effect July 1.

Commissioners said last month they would not raise taxes for the upcoming fiscal year. Last year, the board raised taxes by 7.5 cents to 73.5 cents per $100 of property value.

The projected amount of funds to be allocated to county departments and other organizations in the next year is about $106.5 million.

The board plans to use some of the money to increase its unrestricted fund balance to 21 percent in preparation for debt service for county and school capital projects. The state requires counties to have a certain percentage of funds set aside to improve its credit rating.

Local residents can also make comments during another public hearing concerning the county's solid waste management plan.

State law requires local governments to develop a 10-year comprehensive solid waste management plan. Although county officials do not plan on making many changes to the current plan, there are some policies that will go into effect at the beginning of the next fiscal year.

A cardboard ban will go into effect in July at the county landfills. This is one step in increasing awareness and education of recycling, County Manager Lee Smith said. Also, a new coordinator will be hired in July to educate schoolchildren and their parents about recycling.

Another change in the solid waste plan has already taken effect. Beginning May 1, some of the county's landfills began to accept used oil filters. The collection of used oil is provided free to all residents at the county's convenience centers and landfills.