Bath Board of Supervisors approves 2014-15 budget
By Bonnie Ralston
The Bath Board of Supervisors approves the county and school budgets and sets tax rates for 2014-15. At Tuesday night’s meeting the board approved the county budget, at a total of about $20.4 million, including the school budget at a total of about $9.9 million. Supervisor Cliff Gilchrest made the motion to approve the county budget, with the change of approving $7.9 million in county funding for the school budget. That is about $180,000, about a 2% increase, above level funding. The budget passed on a vote of three to two with Supervisors Bart Perdue and Claire Collins voting against it.
Perdue said he would not approve new money for the schools. He said he really wants to see some results from the money that’s being put into the schools. He said the funding has been going up exponentially going on three years now and he said it’s time to see something happening. Collins said she had no doubt that the schools have the capability to manage and offer enhanced educational services with level funding.
The board unanimously approved the tax rates for 2014-15. The tax rates were not changed. The personal property rate remains at thirty five cents per hundred and the real estate tax rate is forty eight cents per hundred.
On a vote of three to two, the board appropriated the necessary revenue and reserves to fully fund the budget. There was discussion among board members about sending $500,000 back to the planning commission for it’s decision on it’s use on capital improvement projects. Supervisor Perdue said he would rather pick the projects to spend the money on rather than send it back to the planning commission. Board Chair Bruce McWilliams said he thought the planning commission should prioritize the projects. Supervisor Gilchrest said he thought the board had agreed in a previous work session to send the $500,000 back recognizing that, in the end, the board of supervisors would be approving the projects anyway that were recommended by the planning commission. Supervisors Perdue and Collins voted against the appropriation of revenue and reserves.
Also on Tuesday night the board reappointed Ramona Garcia to the Dabney S. Lancaster Community College Board and reappointed Beatrice Clark to the Department of Social Services Board. And Jason Miller was appointed as the Valley Springs District Representative on the planning commission.