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County Manager Presents Recommended Budget for FY2025

May 24, 2024, 13:55 PM by Diane Rice

FAYETTEVILLE – Cumberland County Manager Clarence Grier presented the Fiscal Year 2025 recommended annual budget to the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners on Thursday, May 23, 2024. The recommended budget maintains the County’s current property tax rate of 79.9 cents per $100 valuation and continues to build upon Cumberland County’s tradition of high-quality services, providing a financially sound plan for the upcoming fiscal year.

The balanced recommended budget includes just over $584 million in expenditures across all County funds, with $395 million appropriated for General Fund expenses, marking a 3.5% increase over the FY2024 adopted budget. The recommended budget projects a 2.4% increase in property tax revenue and a 3.1% reduction in sales tax revenue. It includes a fund balance appropriation of $10.4 million, which is within the Board of Commissioners’ adopted policy thresholds.

Grier said his objectives in developing the FY 2025 Budget included setting funding in accordance with the Board of Commissioners’ priorities and strategic plan, maintaining the County’s current property tax rate, establishing efficient fee changes, balancing the budget by living within the organization’s means, using available fund balance to maintain current service levels and offset implementation of the Classification and Compensation Plan, which took effect in October 2023.

The recommended budget was presented amidst an economic outlook that includes inflation, high interest rates, supply chain issues, reduced growth in sales tax revenue, and ongoing challenges like opioid addiction, a mental health crisis and labor market issues.

“This budget focuses on continuing the County’s strategic priorities and ensuring our ability to address the continual, evolving economic and social safety impacts, as well as the challenges in the upcoming fiscal year and beyond,” Grier said in his Budget Message.

The recommended budget continues to move forward with numerous Board of Commissioners’ priorities including constructing the new Crown Event Center, providing public water access to the Gray’s Creek Community, designing and building a Homeless Support Center, addressing the Public Health priorities of Maternal Mortality and Healthy Conversations, and enhancing Employee Recruitment and Retention.

In addition to continuing to fund previously-approved initiatives like establishing Café West at West Regional Library to provide employment opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, opening an Employee Childcare Center and constructing a parking deck downtown, the FY 2025 recommended budget includes $150,000 for a new initiative to increase access to doula services for uninsured and underinsured individuals.

The recommended budget also includes:

  • $562,000 in funding for Capital Outlay ($374,500 net cost), including $187,500 to boost Wi-Fi and Cellular access at the Department of Social Services, $37,000 for Court facilities, and $150,000 for Facility equipment replacement and building improvements
  • Funding to replace 17 vehicles at an estimated net cost of $1,355,225
  • Funding to address mandates including increased contribution rates to the retirement system and increased autopsy fees
  • $89.6 million in current expense funding for Cumberland County Schools, representing 43.47% of the property tax rate and an increase of more than $2 million from FY2024, along with $5.3 million for School Health Nurses, School Resource Officers and Crossing Guards.
  • $15.47 million in current expense funding for Fayetteville Technical Community College, along with $1.25 million for capital projects
  • No new positions due to existing vacancies and implementation of a Classification and Compensation Study for County employees; the recommended budget includes the abolishment of eight positions with an estimated savings of $502,190

Because of the implementation of the Classification and Compensation Plan in 2023, the recommended budget does not include a cost-of-living increase for County employees. Grier said a one-time stipend for employees will be recommended later in the year after the County’s audit is completed.

The recommended budget includes fee increases for the Solid Waste Enterprise Fund to support current operational needs and expansion of the current Ann Street Landfill. The recommended budget includes increases to user fees, tire disposal fees, the City of Fayetteville yard waste rate, and the disposal fee for wooden pallets, clean lumber and clean logs. The recommendation calls for a $37 increase to the annual Solid Waste household user fee.

The recommended budget is available on the county’s website on the Budget & Performance Department page at cumberlandcountync.gov/budget. The Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing on the proposed budget Wednesday, June 5 at 7 p.m. in Room 118 of the Judge E. Maurice Braswell Cumberland County Courthouse at 117 Dick Street, Fayetteville. Citizens who wish to comment on the proposed budget during the public hearing may but are not required to sign up prior to the start of the meeting. A sign-up sheet will be available in the room. Individuals may also call the Clerk to the Board at 910-678-7771 or email  atebbe@cumberlandcountync.gov to sign up.

According to North Carolina law, the Board may adopt the budget no earlier than 10 days after it is presented.

Approved FY2025 Budget Meeting Schedule

Budget Work Session                         May 30 at 5:30 p.m.                Room 564, Courthouse

Public Hearing                                    June 5 at 7 p.m.                      Room 118, Courthouse

  • A Budget Work Session may be held following the Public Hearing if needed.

Budget Work Session                         June 11 at 1 p.m.                    Room 564, Courthouse

Budget Work Session                         June 19 at 5:30 p.m.               Room 564, Courthouse

Budget Work Session (if needed)       June 20 at 5:30 p.m.               Room 564, Courthouse