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UPDATE: New Hanover Commissioners talk trash, budget at meeting

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Tonight was your chance to speak out about the recommended budget in New Hanover County.
Though the county is recommending higher tax rates, no residents came to speak in opposition.

The budget is typically a contentious topic among folks in the county, but no one outside of an organization spoke out to commissioners about the recommended funding.

Commissioners are looking at a revenue neutral tax rate of 55-point-four cents.
it’s a higher rate than last year to off-set a $5 billion loss in property value countywide.
Several New Hanover County partner agencies, who all wore bright green stickers, spoke in favor of the recommended money.

Of the $269 Mil dollar budget, about $200,000 is proposed for county-partner organizations.

“That $174,000 is leveraged very carefully amongst the non-county agencies who really work together and collaboratively so we can make sure we stretch those dollars as far as they can possibly go,” said Amy Feath with the Coastal Horizons Center.

Education covers is the county’s largest chunk of change, at a recommended more than $60 million for New Hanover County schools.

Commissioners will not adopt a final budget until June 18th.

Also in tonight’s meeting, commissioners voted to start negotiating an agreement to re-open the county’s trash incinerator.

After a work session and public hearing, the board unanimously voted to negotiate the terms with Covanta Energy, a company that was selected by New Hanover County to potentially operate the Sustainable Energy Facilty.

To renovate the SEF, what used to be known as WASTEC, is estimated to cost about $65 million and take about 15 months to complete. County staff estimates a tipping fee of $93 per ton, an increase from $59 per ton. The extra cost would go help pay for the renovations and administration costs.

More: continued here

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