Capital Projects Budget revised. Tax increases of $0.08 and $0.20 being considered. Health insurance increased by 6.1%. Finance Committees to meet to clarify increase in funding to schools.

LAWRENCEVILLE – The members of the Brunswick County Board of Supervisors are preparing the FY22 General Fund Budget and the Capital Improvement Projects Budget for FY2022 – 2026. A budget work session was held on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. Members of the Finance Committee are: Supervisor Dr. Barbara Jarrett Harris, Chair; Supervisor Bernard L. Jones, Sr., Vice Chair; Dr. Charlette T. Woolridge, County Administrator, and Keli H. Reekes, Director of Finance.

The Finance Committee will meet with the Finance Committee for the Brunswick County School Board on Thursday, March 18, 2021 with the goal of receiving more information on the $1.9 million increase in local funding.

A joint meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at the Brunswick High School cafeteria at 6:30 p.m. The supervisors will hold another budget work session at 7:30 p.m.

No action was taken at the March 16 meeting.

The supervisors also included six additional operation hours for the solid waste convenience center on Wednesdays that will cost $40,774.

Dr. Woolridge provided the figures for Option 1 that honors all departmental requests: Total revenues - $23,862,082, total expenditures - $28,290,332 resulting in a General Fund deficit of $4,428,250. The real estate impact would be $0.20 per $100. The value of a $0.01 increase on the real estate tax rate is $231,629.

Option 2 – level funding with some exceptions: Total revenues - $23,570,613, total expenditures - $25,426,834, resulting in a General Fund deficit of $1,856,221. The real estate tax impact is $0.08 cents per $100. The value of a $0.01 increase on the real estate tax rate is $231,629.

Dr. Woolridge said other budget considerations as of March 16, 2021 were: VACORP Workers’ Compensation & Property Insurance Renewal expected by April 1, 2021; health insurance renewal – 6.1% increase to the current rates. The total cost is $77,760 if the Board of Supervisors funds the renewal the same as in prior years; Compensation Board – The state is currently discussing a 5% salary increase for all state employees, including Constitutional Officers (note: local funds of approximately $40,209 would be necessary to cover the cost of those unfunded positions with the Compensation Board); county salary increase – the cost of a 5% salary increase for county employees is $109,830, solid waste – six additional operational hours (Wednesday, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.) for all convenience centers - $40,774.

Supervisor Dr. Alfonzo Seward asked Dr. Woolridge to include the total tax impact for the General Fund Budget, Capital Improvement Project Budget and the Brunswick County Public Schools Budget. She said she would provide that information but reminded the supervisors that they are dealing with three separate budgets.

Supervisor Welton Tyler said he favored looking at the long term when considering a tax increase.

There was a lengthy discussion about the use of CARES Act funding. Dr. Woolridge said the uses for that money are very specific and she will ask the schools to share how the funds will be used.

Capital Improvement Projects – School capital funding

The Capital Improvement Projects Budget was revised based on the recommendations of the supervisors: building inspection (new software) – $58,395; Economic Development (Project White House), $420,000 in FY22, $215,000 in FY23, and $160,000 in FY24; Economic Development (Stonewall & Adirondack Site Development), $4,100,000 in FY22, $300,000 in FY23, and $1,970.000 in FY24; Economic Development (Wastewater & Sewer infrastructure), $350,000 in FY22, $250,000 in FY23, $200,000 in FY24; Facilities and Grounds (BEMS parking lot), $54,075; Sheriff’s Office (Tactical equipment replacement) - $32,450; Solid Waste Management (Front loader trash truck), $275,000.

The totals for the projects by year are: FY22 - $5,289,820, FY23 - $765,000, FY24 - $2,330,000.

For more information call the county administrator’s office at (434) 848-3107.