Johnston County Commissioners held a public hearing Monday on the proposed 2017-2018 fiscal year budget from County Manager Rick Hester.
Overall, the $220 million budget is up 4 percent, and includes a 3.1 percent increase in funding for both Johnston County Schools and Johnston Community College.
JCC President Dr. David Johnson spoke during the public hearing asking commissioners for an additional $190,000 in funds to make improvements on the Smithfield campus. The additional monies would be used for contract housekeeping services during the evening hours, maintenance and grounds work. “A little bit more will make a big difference at JCC,” Dr. Johnson said.
Dr. Ross Renfrow said Johnston County Public Schools are now the second fastest growing district in the state and the 7th largest in North Carolina. While not asking for a specific dollar amount above the 3.1 percent increase already included in Hester’s budget package, Renfrow said, “Whatever you can afford to designate our way, we will be fiscally responsible.” He said mandates from the State this year will increase his budget costs approximately $2 million.
Without any changes, Johnston County Schools will receive $58,604,953 from the county this year and JCC $4,319,859.
Harbor Inc., a domestic violence shelter, asked for additional funding this year. $25,000 is currently included in Hester’s budget proposal.
Ben Olsen with the Smithfield Rescue Mission asked for $20,000 in funding in the new budget, up from $10,000 this year. Olsen said the funds are needed to help reopen the Women and Children’s Shelter which will cost between $45,000 and $65,000.
Chairman Jeff Carver said budget workshops will be held on Monday, June 12th and Monday, June 19th at 6pm. The final budget meeting and adoption of the spending plan will take place on Monday, June 26th at 8:30am.