"It's a sustain and maintain budget," county manager Vance Gulledge said at the latest meeting June 2.
The total budget is $25,742,430, which is almost 7.8 percent or $2,167,840 less than last year. It recommends that property taxes stay the same, although revenues from them are expected to fall $443,239.
Sewer rates would increase 3.88 percent. While the charge for the first 2,000 gallons would remain $11, every thousand gallons afterward would be $2.82 rather than the current $2.71.
Water rates remain unchanged. However, the late fee has been increased from $2 to $5.
All departments were asked to make cuts in the months leading up to the budget proposal, often through travel expenses or freezes on vacancies. All travel not necessary to maintain certification was cut.
Meanwhile, almost all capital outlay expenses were cut. Departments were asked to reduce their budgets between 10 and 15 percent. County employees' pay was frozen, preventing the increases recommended by a study on the subject conducted last year.
"We are saving everybody's job and that's a big thing," Commissioner Jim Sims said.
However, the health department, which took the biggest hit through reductions in funding and the aforementioned hiring freeze, had a net reduction of four employees.
Teachers also saw no increase in their supplemental pay.
A public hearing on the budget was scheduled for 6 p.m. June 16. A workshop will be held at 5 p.m. June 18.
In other business, Rufus Getzen was appointed to the planning board for district five. Frank Richardson was reappointed to the Wadesboro ABC board. Don Altieri was reappointed to the Centralina Workforce Development Board.