Catawba County News
County Commissioners Adopt Fiscal Year 2022/23 Budget
Published: June 07, 2022
The Catawba County Board of Commissioners adopted a Fiscal Year 2022/23 budget of $306,247,224 at its June 6 scheduled meeting. The budget maintains a property tax rate of $0.575 per $100 of assessed valuation.
On May 16, County Manager Mick Berry presented a recommended budget of $306,484,812. The manager’s recommendation was based on a continued strong revenue forecast for Catawba County. During deliberations following the May 25 and June 2 budget hearings, the Board made the following changes to the budget:
- Appropriated $282,400 in non-local funds for the Streamflow Rehabilitation Assistance Program (StRAP) grant plus $28,240 in matching funds from General Fund Fund Balance for stream debris and blockage removal.
- The recommended budget included funding for a potential countywide second primary but only the City of Hickory will have an election in July, which it will fully fund. As a result, the Board of Elections expense budget was decreased by $78,866 and revenue was increased by $40,605 for a net reduction to General Fund Fund Balance of $119,471.
- The new shift differential for Catawba County Emergency Medical Services staff working night shift was decreased from $2 per hour to $1 per hour, reducing the budget by $119,362.
- Shifted recommended funding from CREC renovations and awning installation projects at Arndt Middle ($60,000), Blackburn Elementary ($40,000) and Claremont Elementary ($50,000).
- Appropriated $50,000 in Schools’ Capital Fund Balance to Newton-Conover City Schools for system-wide school safety and security enhancements for all sites.
The approved budget invests in core services and maintains a focus on key elements of the Board’s strategic plan to maintain long-term economic growth and quality of life. Highlights of the budget include the following:
- Education: Supporting local public education with a 3.5 percent increase in total per-pupil funding, $10.1M in school capital funding, with additional funds for Newton-Conover High School renovations and Hickory High School renovations; a set-aside of $1.1M for future Chrome book replacement, and continued support of the collaborative K-64 initiative.
- Public Health: Addressing the continually evolving health needs of students with a new School Charge Nurse position; retaining 15 state-funded school health assistants and two community health workers.
- Public Safety: Providing additional support to Sheriff’s Office through training and operating increases, including jail medical and food services, and vehicle replacements; enhancing emergency medical response with four replacement ambulances and transitioning some 911 Communications Center staff to 12-hour shifts.
- Planning & Parks: Increasing access to the outdoors through the annualization of 7-day-a-week park system operations, including Mountain Creek Park.
- Economic Development: Fostering a positive business climate by maintaining competitive tax rate; supporting increased building activity with four new positions across three departments: two building services officials, an environmental health technician and a planner.
- Compensation: Ensuring the County remains a competitive employer through a market-based pay plan adjustment of 6% and maintaining a stable benefits package.
The adopted budget is available online at www.catawbacountync.gov.