Commissioners Makes Changes Before Adopting New Budget

Johnston County Manager Rick Hester

Johnston County Commissioners added more than $2 million in spending to the 2017-18 fiscal year budget before adopting it this week.

During a special called meeting on Monday, commissioners approved the $222.8 million spending plan, which keeps the 78 cents property tax rate unchanged but does include increases in water and sewer rates.

County Manager Rick Hester’s proposal already included a $1.7 million increase in funding to Johnston County Public Schools, 37 new county employees including 25 EMS positions. Johnston County EMS will take over Selma EMS on Saturday, July 1st and will need additional paramedics.  Other full time positions include: 4 jail detention officers, 1 fire inspector for public schools, 1 emergency services logistics officers, 1 health inspector, 1 plumbing position for building and grounds, 2 water treatment plant operators, and 2 new utility maintenance employees.

County employees will see a 1.9 percent pay increase in July. Funds are also included for performance pay adjustments up to an additional 1.1 percent in the Fall based on employee reviews.

Monday’s changes included:
$1.5 million increase to Johnston County Public Schools with the understanding that $1.9 million of county funds this year will be used for a classroom teacher supplement increase.
$100,000 in additional funds to Johnston Community College
$400,000 to Sheriff’s budget for out-of-county contract housing for inmates
$15,000 to Smithfield Rescue Mission
$7,900 to the Community & Senior Services
$2,500 to the Johnston County Arts Council
$5,000 to the Johnston County Public Library
$69,000 to the Johnston Regional Airport for federal grant matches

Maintain the Research Training Zone tax rate of 8 cents per $100.

The overall 2017-18 budget is up 5.4 percent over the current 2016-17 budget.

Fire Tax Rate Increases
Also Monday, commissioners approve the recommendations of the rural fire tax boards and fire tax workgroup to increase the Clayton (Claytex Fire District) tax by 2 cents for a revised rate of 11.75 cents per $100 valuation, Pine Level (Pi-Le Fire District) fire tax increase by 2 cents for a revised rate of 10 cents per $100 valuation, and the Benson (Banner Fire District) fire tax increase by 1 cent for a revised rate of 10 cents per $100 valuation.

Water Sewer Rate Hikes Take Effect July 1st
Under the 2017-18 budget adopted Monday, county water customers will see their base rates increase from $15 to $16 per month.

Water costs will go up from $3.25 to $3.45 per 1,000 gallons on Saturday, July 1st.

Base sewer rates will increase from $20 to $21 per month. Treatment costs will also increase from $4.80 to $5.10 per 1,000 gallons.