The Lincoln County Budget Committee held a public hearing last Tuesday to discuss its proposed budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year, which was published in the Elk Valley Times on May 25. The current fiscal year will end on June 30, 2022. The budget committee has been in favor of the proposed budget before the Lincoln County Commission at the next meeting to be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 21.
The county’s property tax rate, which is currently $2.10, is not expected to increase in the next fiscal year, Newman said. It will remain the same as for the current fiscal year. The calendar year 2024 will be a property reassessment year.
“We are in very good shape on our postponement,” Lincoln County Mayor Bill Newman said. “We were able to keep our tax rate at the same level. At the moment, things are looking good. »
New in this year’s proposed budget is a 10% pay raise for all unelected employees working for the Lincoln County government, according to Newman. The Ministry of Education commissioned its own salary compensation study and followed the guideline increases recommended in that study.
The proposed budget for 2022-2023 includes $962,977 in approved recurring requests and $202,598 in non-recurring requests.
If the proposed budget is approved, the total estimated expenditures for the general fund are $17.3 million, as well as $1.5 million in expenditures for the solid waste fund, $52,000 for expenditures for the sheriff’s drugs, $6.1 million for highways and public works fund expenditures, and $2.7 million. in the general expenditure of the debt service fund.
It also includes $35.2 million in planned spending for the General Purpose School Fund, $2.4 million in spending for the Central Cafeteria Fund, $128,000 in spending for the Expanded School Program Fund, and $780,000. $000 in capital projects for education.
The proposed allocations to outside organizations included in the proposed budget total $797,294. These include the following: $433,363 to Fayetteville-Lincoln County Industrial Development; $132,202 to the Fayetteville-Lincoln County Public Library; $62,500 to the Humane Society of Lincoln County; $55,000 for seniority bonus for volunteer firefighters; $37,000 to South Lincoln Recreation; $18,693 for the Fayetteville-Lincoln County Airport Authority; $15,000 to Fayetteville Main Street; $12,750 to Fayetteville-Lincoln County seniors; $12,500 to the Fayetteville-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce; $9,436 to the South-Central Human Resources Agency; $5,000 to Crime Stoppers; $2,000 to the Forestry Division of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture; $1,600 to senior citizens of Petersburg; and $250 to A Secret Safe Place for Newborns of Tennessee.
Applications proposed by Carriage House players and the Fayetteville-Lincoln County Arts Center were delayed by the committee.
Lincoln County Humane Society
Cindy Kite, chair of the board of directors of the Humane Society of Lincoln County, addressed the budget committee during the public hearing.
Kite said the Humane Society is asking the Lincoln County Commission to approve a $140,000 allocation in the budget. The Commission allocated $62,500 in the current fiscal year. She said the previous year the Humane Society received $37,500.
“We do animal control work, and we can’t afford to do that anymore,” Kite said. “We are not ready to have full-time staff. The shelter we have now has to have a license, has to have people trained, has to have equipment and we are no longer able to maintain what we are doing.
If the budget request is not met, Kite said the organization will only be able to help the county as a Humane Society, but will no longer be able to offer animal control.
“We’re so below where we need to be,” Kite said. “We fundraise until death and we are in debt. We cannot continue to draw from our sources because we will be bankrupt in three months.
The Humane Society Building is owned by the City of Fayetteville and Lincoln County. “We think over the years we’ve probably invested over $250,000 in the building,” she said, naming areas of the building the organization has improved. “We have quite an investment in this building.”
Kite went on to explain what the Humane Society does when it comes to animal control.
The Lincoln County Humane Society had similar conversations, which were reported in the May 3 edition of the Elk Valley Times, with the city of Fayetteville.
Mayor Newman said he and Fayetteville City Administrator Kevin Owens have met to discuss animal control and plan to continue those meetings. He said the city of Fayetteville, like the county, has not decided whether to increase funding for the organization.
Newman said he also spoke to the mayor and other Giles County officials. He said Giles County has its own animal control under the sheriff’s office. Two deputies are the animal control officers and operate the facility. “It gives them law enforcement rights when they’re out,” Newman said.
Newman said Giles County Animal Control’s total budget for the year was $150,000, with the county contributing $100,000 and the city contributing $50,000.
“They (Giles County Animal Control) are not a no-kill shelter,” he said, adding that the euthanasia rate is 10% at the moment.
“I’m working on it. The city is working on it. Hopefully we find an answer,” Newman said.