Proposed state budget to allocate roughly $100 million to Stanly, surrounding areas

Published 2:45 pm Monday, August 23, 2021

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The proposed $25.7 billion state budget was recently approved by the North Carolina House and, if signed into law later this summer, could send roughly $100 million to Stanly County and the surrounding areas.

The North Carolina Senate already approved its version in late June and now both chambers are engaged in the final negotiating process of a “conference” budget, which will likely take several weeks. Once a final budget is again passed by both chambers, it will go to Gov. Roy Cooper, who could approve or veto the legislation.

The largest appropriation for Stanly from the House’s version of the budget is $28 million, which would go to capital funding for the Stanly County Airport for the current fiscal year and for 2022-2023. The county also stands to receive $6.5 million for Morrow Mountain State Park and $5.6 million for Stanly Community College.

The current projected funding for Stanly compares favorably to previous budgets in recent years, according to State Rep. Wayne Sasser, whose district includes Stanly, Cabarrus and Rowan.

“I would be surprised if Stanly County had gotten this much money in the last five budgets,” he said.

For raises, public school teachers would get an average of 5.5 percent raises and most other state employees would get 5 percent raises over the next two years. Community college faculty would receive 7 percent raises while correctional officers would get an average of 7 percent raises. If the budget is approved, these raises will retroactively go into effect as of July 1.

The House budget also gives eight weeks of paid parental leave to teachers who are new mothers, and raises the minimum wage of non-certified school personnel to $15 an hour.

Things could still change between the current proposed budget and the one that will go before Cooper, but as of now, here is a list of where some of the key funding is going in and around Stanly County:

  • $28 million over the next two years for the Stanly County Airport;
  • $15 million to Cabarrus County for a new regional behavioral health crisis service center;
  • $7.5 million for the Mecklenburg nonprofit Camino, which serves low-income families through primary care, behavioral health and wellness services. Funding will go toward mobile units to support service delivery in surrounding area;
  • $6.5 million for Morrow Mountain State Park;
  • $5.6 million for Stanly Community College;
  • $3.5 million for the regional office for Emergency Management;
  • $1.7 million for Pfeiffer University;
  • $1.5 million for Will’s Place for a new treatment facility;
  • $1.1 million over the next two years for National Guard Tarheel ChalleNGe academies;
  • $1 million to build a road from the swimming pool at Morrow Mountain to Falls Reservoir in Badin;
  • $1 million for Morrow Mountain State Park road improvements;
  • $1 million to the Salvation Army for the construction of a crisis shelter to serve Cabarrus and Stanly counties;
  • $1 million to improve Badin’s marina;
  • $800,000 for Locust water and wastewater infrastructure projects;
  • $500,000 for Bridge to Recovery for a new treatment facility;
  • $250,000 for Badin for upgrades and maintenance of the Badin Conference Center;
  • $125,000 for the Friends of the Agri-Civic Center for repairs and renovations; and
  • $40,000 for the Pregnancy Resource Center of Stanly County.
Cooper has vetoed the three budget bills presented to him since 2017, though two were overridden. Sasser is cautiously optimistic that both chambers will agree upon a finalized budget that Cooper will sign into law.
“We’re just hoping and praying that he’ll sign it.”

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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