County manager presents $216.6M budget to commissioners

Moore County Commissioners received the proposed fiscal year 2024-2025 budget on May 21 at its agenda meeting.

County Manager Wayne Vest reviewed the $216,653,005 net budget and its 16 funds.

Chair Nick Picerno compared the proposed federal government budget to Moore County’s proposed budget with a 17.34% increase to Moore County’s proposed 6% reduced budget and 9% debt interest reduction. However, Moore County’s proposed budget increases reveal conflicting priorities.

Vest said the budget mission lists education as the priority, but Picerno said the budget has a 2% increase for education. This is 8% less than recreation, 8% less than law enforcement, and 13% less than veterans.

The proposed budget “Prioritizes Education, Public Safety, Health & Human Services” is on page four of the county’s PowerPoint.

The general fund covers 70% of education, safety and human services. The budget allows $61,498,125 for education funding.

Sales and property taxes make up 70% of the general fund revenue at a rate of .32/$100 and have a budget of $145,341,165.

The 2025 cumulative tax rate of .4450/$100 is 2 ¼ pennies below the rate in 2024.

Graphic from Moore County Board of Commissioners’ website

The $11,273,892 public safety and emergency management budget ensures the county’s mission of providing emergency services. Its .0375/$100 rate did not change from last year.

The 4% cost-of-living adjustment for employees begins with a first increase on June 29 and a second increase on Dec. 14. There are no payout increases.

Vest said the general fund’s budget allows 13 new positions and eight new full-time paramedics.

“It walks the talk of our mission vision, ensuring funding for exceptional services,” Vest said about the budget sustaining growth and employees while allowing recreation.

Details and graphics on the budget’s funds may be viewed in the County’s PowerPoint here.

Commissioners will hold a public hearing at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 28, at the budget work session at the Senior Enrichment Center.

June 18 at 5:30 p.m., commissioners will hear public comments on the budget and vote two days later.

~Written by Sandhills Sentinel journalist Stephanie M. Sellers. Stephanie is also an English instructor at Central Carolina Community College. She is the author of young adult fiction, including When the Yellow Slugs Sing and Sky’s River Stone, and a suspense, GUTTERSNIPE: Shakespearean English Stage Play with Translation.

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