JEFFERSON-Beginning this week, county commissioners enter the war room to dissect and inspect every single line item that comprises the proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
Perhaps garnering the most attention from property owners and tax payers is the proposed ad valorem tax for next year’s budget. The primary source of revenue for the the county’s general or operating fund is the ad valorem, or property tax rate.
As it stands now, the rate for the upcoming year remains unchanged at $.433 per $100 valuation.
Fire tax rates for all county departments remain unchanged, as well.
You can sit-in on all of the discussions pertaining to the budget beginning Monday. County commissioners will meet in the second floor conference room at 9 a.m. and reconvene throughout the week.
In its entirety, the proposed budget spans more than 30 pages and provides detailed information about where every county dollar will be spent.
For the sake of clarity and understanding, the Jefferson Post has broken down each major section of the proposed budget so that you, the tax paying citizen, will be provided with the right information to ask the right questions when the time comes for commissioners to vote on where your money will be spent.
The Ashe County School system is funded at $4.64 million in current expense, $100,000 in capital outlay, $118,072 in technology funds and $5,000 for the middle school’s swimming pool. Altogether, the school system could receive $5.28 million in funding.
The school system also receives funding from the state and national level in addition to local expenditures.
Financing is also provided to repave Blue Ridge Elementary, purchase 750 Chromebooks for student testing and purchase property for locating a new middle school.
Wilkes Community College is funded $376,000 for operations, $17,465 for an automobile and $22,000 in capital outlay.
Ashe Memorial Hospital is funded $500,000, the third installment of a very successful arrangement between the hospital and county. These funds from a .25 percent sales tax passed by the county voters. After this final installment, the county will be able to direct these funds to other needed areas, such as toward a new middle school or the planned expansion of Wilkes Community College.
Helton Ambulance is funded $25,000 and Ashe County Rescue Squad is funded at $49,000.
Rents received from the county’s building lease to Daymark Recovery Services continues to be placed in a Public Buildings Capital Reserve Fund.
Appalachian District Health Department is funded $439,068.
Ashe County’s law enforcement agency is proposed to be funded at $2.38 million. Included in this sum is $1.45 million in salaries and wages.
Corrections look to obtain $1.9 million in funding. Included in this is $705,720 in salaries and wages.
Ashe county’s Animal Control is budgeted at $226,335. This includes $115,815 in regular employees wages. Also included is $2,250 in animal food and provisions.
The Department of Social Services is proposed to receive $8.9 million in funding. This amount includes nearly $3.5 million in salaries and wages for full-time employees.
Parks and recreation
The budget for 2016-17 also includes $639,408 in funding for the county’s department of parks and recreation. This sum also includes $196,806 in salaries and wages for full-time employees.
Library and debt service
Appalachian Regional Library is funded $429,150.
The county has also budgeted $3.36 million in debt services.
Reach Jesse Campbell at 336-489-3058.