Residents of Franklin County can expect some increases in fees next year, but no increase in the property tax rate if the proposed $111 million 2023-24 budget is approved by the Franklin Board of Commissioners next month.
Manager Kim Denton presented the budget on Monday, May 15. A copy can be found at www.franklincountync.gov. A copy also is available in the office of the clerk to the board, 113 Market St., Louisburg.
The budget focuses on essential needs for maintaining and growing county services, proposes the formation of a Community Care team to addresses the opioid funding strategies, adds vehicles to accomplish service delivery and recommends increases in water and sewer rates, according to a press release from James Hicks, Franklin County public information officer.
In remarks to the board, Denton said “Franklin County must continue an appropriate level of preparation for the growth the county is experiencing. Being identified as the fastest-growing county statistically in the Triangle brings added emphasis to the growth preparation that is already underway.”
County leadership is recommending the addition of 20 new staff positions across the organization including four full-time positions in the sheriff’s office and one position in the Emergency Medical Services departments to will oversee a newly created second peak demand 12-hour shift with two paramedics and two EMTs. Additional positions in Animal Services, Environmental Health and Social Services also are recommended. If the proposed budget is adopted, the sheriff’s office will get additional patrol vehicles and will be able to replace other high-mileage vehicles currently in use. EMS will get an additional ambulance as well.
Franklin County Schools would get more than $25 million which includes $1.5 million for capital outlay. The school system had requested $28 million and has indicated at need for $100 million over the next 10 years.
“Education funding has been the most challenging topic to address because the provision of education in North Carolina and the guidelines and funding formulas are all evolving,” Denton said.
At the May 15 meeting, commissioners requested documentation addressing the need for additional capital funds; county staff will work with FCS staff from FCS to develop a Capital Report.
The budget also recommends a 2 percent cost-of-living-adjustment for all employees, both full-time and part-time, beginning in September 2023 and public safety positions in the sheriff’s office, detention center and emergency communications also would get a salary bump to help hire and retain staff.
Franklin County will be receiving National Opioid Settlement payments annually for 18 years. The County is recommending the creation of a Community Care Team – a collaborative, cross-departmental team – that will coordinate the County’s response to the County Manager’s Health Initiative, opioid overdose epidemic, substance abuse and mental health. The team will be comprised of a Community Care Administrator, Community Care Coordinator, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Peer Support Specialist.
A public hearing for the FY24 Budget will be conducted at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, June 5, 2022, at Franklin Plaza during the regularly scheduled Board of Commissioners meeting. The public portal for budget comments is currently available on the Finance Department’s page of the Franklin County website: www.franklincountync.gov. Any public comments received through the portal will be shared by the clerk to the board with the board of commissioners prior to the June 5 public hearing.