Brunswick County makes decisions on tightening its belt
Brunswick County is the latest local government tightening its belt as it faces a $12 million budget shortfall. Monday night, commissioners approved budget cuts they hope will get the county’s finances back on track.
With a unanimous vote Monday night, Brunswick County commissioners approved nearly $12 million in budget cuts. Fiscal Operations Director, Ann Hardy, presented the plan, and said the changes should account for all but about $300,000 of the shortfall. “It’s a relief that this has passed and we can put this on the books and that we can plan going forward,” she said.
A lower than expected collection of property taxes and less sales tax revenue are the main reasons for the shortfall. The budget cuts include freezing vacant positions and eliminating big ticket items like vehicle purchases, park projects, construction, travel, and operating equipment.
“We have to look after a 100,000 citizens and how this thing would impact them. We have over a thousand employees; we have to see how it impacts them,” Brunswick County commissioner, Marty Cooke said.
With the current cutbacks, county leaders say employees should not be affected. There are no layoffs or furlough days in store – for now. “We’re doing everything we possibly can to do right by everybody and that might mean that we’re tightening our belts, but we want to do it as painlessly as possible,” said Cooke.
Hardy added, “The county has had a history of good fiscal control.” Brunswick county leaders hope that control gets them through the rest of the fiscal year without having to make any further cuts.
The fiscal year ends June 30th. The cuts approved Monday night are expected to save nearly $12 million by then.
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