Johnston County Manager Rick Hester released his proposed new fiscal year budget on Wednesday. The $209 million spending plan will keep the 78 cents property tax rate unchanged. The tax rate hasn’t been adjusted in 13 years. At the same time the budget is about 3 percent higher than the current fiscal year.
Hester’s proposal does not fully fund the Johnston County Board of Education’s request for $63.2 million this year. The proposal includes about $56.4 million, an increase of 2.5 percent over the current year, but approximately $6.8 million less than what school leaders had wanted.
Johnston Community College would receive $4.6 million under the proposal, a 2 percent increase.
Funds are included for the design of a new detention center but not the actual construction, which will have to be paid for with a loan. County employees will see a 2 percent pay increase July 1st and a potential 1 percent performance pay increase in the fall based on individual employee reviews.
Fourteen new position are included. Seven of those are at the Department of Social Services, 4 deputy sheriff’s, 2 in the 911 Center, and one in child support. An increase in the landfill tipping fee for yard debris is proposed from $16 to $18 per ton.
Johnston County is the 10th fastest growing county in North Carolina. The County’s population has grown by 50 percent since 2000. An estimated 184,000 people now live in the county. The number will surpass 200,000 in 5 years.
County commissioners will hold a public hearing on the budget on June 6th with additional meetings on June 13, June 20, and June 27, at which time they could adjust the manager’s spending proposal.
Hester said he anticipated commissioners adopting the budget on June 27th.