(A summary of decisions made by the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners:)
The Board made the following appointments:
• Beverly Lawston was appointed to the Park and Recreation Commission.
• Lucia Griffith was appointed to the Planning Commission.
• Ronnie Bryant, Hilda Gurdian and Kimberly Henderson were appointed to the Public Broadcasting Authority.
• Kimberly Gossage was appointed to the Region F Aging Advisory Committee.
The Board adopted the FY2007-2008 operating budget for Mecklenburg County. The $1.46 billion budget will be funded by just under a 2 cent property tax rate increase. This amounts to approximately a $40 annual tax bill increase on a property with an assessed valuation of $200,000. Key cost increases for next year include:
- $341 million for CMS, a $25.2 million increase
- $26 million increase in paygo, which funds capital projects without incurring interests costs
- $14 million increase in debt service to pay the principal and interest in building and renovating schools, parks, and other public facilities
- $10 million to fund the County’s long-term liability for providing retiree health insurance
- $12 million for County employee pay and benefits increases, including a 2.5% increase in payroll for pay-for-performance salary increases
- $5.6 million increase in Medicaid costs required by the state
- $3.8 million to operate new park and recreation facilities
- $3 million in overtime for the sheriff’s office to address jail crowding
- $7 million in costs to address public health and medical services
BOARD PAY INCREASES.
The Board increased pay for members of the Board by 3.5%, the same average increase received by County employees this fiscal year. This increases the Chairman’s pay from $25,878 to $26,783, while the pay for the other Board members increases from $20,702 to $21,426.
The Board received an update on the Mecklenburg/Iredell Consortium that involves the Towns of Troutman, Mooresville, Davidson and Cornelius considering purchasing their portions of the Adelphia Cable system. The update identified what role Mecklenburg County could have in this arrangement, which at this point does not include any financial commitment by the County.
The Board approved in closed session the exchange of two parcels of land located on Dixie River Road at the undeveloped Berwick park site in Southwestern Mecklenburg County. County property will be exchanged with land owned by Pappas Properties which will result in more useful development of the County’s plans for a park and school.
NATURE PRESERVE DESIGNATION.
The Board approved the designation of two parcels totaling 144 acres as the latest County nature preserves. The 100-acre Haymarket parcel is located on Mt. Island Lake and protects one mile of shoreline on the lake. The 44-acre Flat Branch parcel is predominantly fragmented wooded wetlands that includes what is believed to be the largest remaining upland swamp in the county. As designated nature preserves, these properties would be granted all the protections permitted for passive recreational use and scientific management as nature preserves, and be developed for public and educational use.