• By Todd Luck
  • Posted Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Proposed County Budget to be Presented on Thursday

The Manager’s Recommended Budget will be presented to Forsyth County Commissioners next Thursday, kicking off a process that will lead to the adoption of the county’s 2019-2020 budget.

County Manager Dudley Watts will make his summarized presentation of the proposed budget following the commissioners’ 2 p.m. meeting on Thursday, May 23, at the Forsyth County Government Center, 201 N. Chestnut Street. Commissioners meetings are televised live on WSTV and are available on the Forsyth County website later in the day. The proposed budget will be available for review in the County Commissioners’ Office at the Government Center, on the Budget Department web page after the presentation, and copies will also be distributed to county libraries.

The Budget process will continue with these meetings at the Government Center:

* A Detailed Budget Presentation that will start at 9 a.m. on May 30.

* A Public Hearing on the budget, where residents can give their comments, will be held at 2 p.m. on June 3.

* Budget Workshops will be held June 4, 5 and 6 at 9 a.m.

* A Special Meeting, where the commissioners may possibly adopt the budget, will be held on June 6 at 2 p.m.

If the budget isn’t adopted by the commissioners on June 6, they would consider it at their 2 p.m. meeting on June 13.

“It’s an important time of year and an important process,” said Watts “The commissioners take very seriously the comments from citizens at the Public Hearing.”

During his presentation, Watts will talk about the Continuation Budget, which is the estimated cost of continuing to provide the county’s current levels of service to citizens. He will also talk about the Alternate Service Level Budget, which is comprised of a full listing of additional funding requests from departments and community agencies. This is to ensure everyone involved— including commissioners, staff and taxpayers— are aware of these requests.

“Alternate Service Levels is all really about the openness of the process and the transparency to the community,” said Watts.

Watts will present a proposed balanced budget comprised of the Continuation Budget with some Alternate Service Level requests for the commissioners to consider. County commissioners, who are elected to represent taxpayers, can make changes to the budget before approving it.

There have been numerous presentations previewing parts of the budget leading up to this:

* Forsyth Technical Community College President Dr. Janet Spriggs requested a 2.5 percent increase in the funds Forsyth Tech receives for facilities, maintenance and utilities.

* Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Interim Superintendent Kenneth Simington presented a request an additional $40.2 million for local schools to pay for capital projects, increased teacher supplements and to increase its minimum wage to $15 an hour.

* Assistant County Manager Ronda Tatum presented a $4 million budget request for the county’s allocation to mental health services.

* County Budget Director Kyle Wolf presented a draft of the Alternate Service Level Budget to county commissioners and an overview of the county’s capital projects.

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