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County approves budget

In a budget workshop meeting Thursday morning, Stanly County commissioners adopted a budget ordinance for the 2019-20 fiscal year.

Several late adjustments to the financial plan, which authorizes approximately $69 million in expenditures for the coming year, were made in workshops on June 13 and June 20. These included approval of one additional officer and part-time funds for the Sheriff’s Office ($72,000) and training funds for the Board of Elections ($2,000).

Commissioner Mike Barbee, who participated in the meeting by phone, thanked county staff for their work in putting together the budget proposal, but voiced concern over increases in fire district taxes in the Endy and Southside areas and fee increases for various county functions.

“I have some concerns with these increases,” he said.

On a motion by Commissioner Zack Almond and a second by Commissioner Lane Furr, the budget ordinance was passed 6-1, with Barbee in dissent.

Commissioners also discussed a revised supplemental law enforcement agreement with the Town of Richfield for the upcoming year, in which an officer would be assigned to the town from noon to midnight Monday through Thursday, and from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. am Friday through Sunday. The agreement, reached between Sheriff Jeff Crisco and Richfield officials, would result in no direct cost to the county.

“County taxpayers are not paying for this,” said County Manager Andy Lucas. “The municipality pays the county for this service.”

Commissioners also set 10 a.m. Aug. 3 for the naming ceremony of the jail facility, which will be dedicated in honor of long-time Stanly County Sheriff Ralph L. McSwain.

The next meeting of the Stanly County commission will be at 6 p.m. July 8.