County Commissioners Adopt FY ’18-’19 Budget
Durham, NC – This evening, the Durham County Board of Commissioners presented the details of the approved Fiscal Year 2018-2019 budget.
“This budget reflects our commitment to investing in the people of Durham, our greatest asset, to achieve Durham County’s goal that all people in our community achieve a sense of well-being, and share equitably in the prosperity many parts of Durham are experiencing,” said Chair Wendy Jacobs.
The approved budget totals $643,950,786 and includes a General Fund tax rate increase of 1.0 cent, a decrease from County Manager Wendell M. Davis’ recommended tax rate increase of 1.9 cents. The approved County tax rate is 77.79 cents per $100 valuation, and the County expects to collect 99.6% of estimated property tax revenue.
The FY 2018-19 approved General Fund budget, where most County government activities and services occur, is budgeted at $434,752,953 and supports 2,014 full time equivalent (FTE) positions.
“I am proud to highlight full funding for the Superintendent’s budget request for Durham Public Schools as our board seeks to support the work of our new superintendent.” The approved budget provides an additional $1.685 million to DPS funding, $3 million more than the county manager’s recommended budget, bringing the total increase for DPS funding to $4.685 million “to support our teachers, students, and families”. Total DPS funding for FY 2018-19 is $138,720,717. DPS’ current expense funding per pupil is $3,455 per pupil, an increase of $143 per pupil from FY 2017-18 approved funding.
The FY 2018-19 approved budget includes an additional $2.16 million for expansion of Pre-K services, an initiative designed to bring high-quality early childhood education to all children in Durham. The increase will bring the total amount of available Pre-K funding to $3.66 million, or equivalent to 1 cent of property tax. The investment will support 13 new classrooms as well as the conversion of 25 existing classrooms.
Additional approved FY 2018-19 funding supports $308,635 for a joint City-County homelessness and housing suite of services. Commissioners allotted an additional $275,000 for Cradle to Career and Aging initiatives in the upcoming year. County Commissioners approved budget also supports a request from Bull City Community Schools, a grass roots initiative that will support two positions within specified Durham Public Schools. Their roles will focus on coordinating community partnerships and facilitating meaningful parent engagement.
Commissioners approved $1.7 million for potential recommended compensation changes to recognize market changes and provide appropriate salaries to address “hard-to-fill” and important public safety positions. While covering the approved budget, Jacobs highlighted that new fiscal “budget targets increased salaries for law enforcement” that were found to be below market rate. New position support includes 13 additional detention officer positions to staff a specialized mental health pod for females in detention center custody. Additionally, the County is increasing the number of Sheriff’s deputies serving as School Resource Officers (SROs) by five to continue coverage at existing public schools in Durham.
Jacobs went on to comment on the Commissioners’ “commitment to effective and efficient government to keep our residents safe by approving a historic Fire Consolidation with the City of Durham Fire Department and Durham County fire service in South Durham.” As a result of the planned move, the County will experience a net reduction in 24.75 FTE positions as 53 FTES will be transitioning from the County payroll to the City of Durham Fire Department. “This consolidation will result in better response times for our residents, lower insurance costs for home owners, better ability to meet the needs of a growing Research Triangle Park and will keep all Durham county employees whole in this transition.” Also, in support of this move the Board of County Commissioners has approved a two-cent property tax rate increase to the Durham Fire and Rescue District.
According to Jacobs, the unanimously passed budget “reflects many of the priorities we heard from the people of Durham through the annual Resident Survey, the Community Conversations, PAC [Partners Against Crime] meetings, budget public hearings, emails, conversations or our online budget portal.” To review the approved budget details, visit the County’s Budget and Management Services webpage at dconc.gov/budget. Budget information on adopted budgets dating back as far as FY ’09-’10 is available to view and download on the page.
For additional questions or information about the FY 2018-2019 Adopted Budget, email firstname.lastname@example.org.