• By Todd Luck
  • Posted Thursday, May 27, 2021

Proposed county budget to be presented today

The Manager’s Recommended Budget will be presented to Forsyth County Commissioners today, kicking off a process that will lead to the adoption of the county’s 2021-2022 budget.

County Manager Dudley Watts will make his summarized presentation of the proposed budget following the commissioners’ 2 p.m. meeting on Thursday, May 27. Commissioners meetings are televised live and live streamed on WSTV and are live streamed on the county commissioners meetings webpage along with the county’s Facebook, YouTube and Vimeo accounts. The proposed budget will be available for review in the County Commissioners’ Office at the Government Center, on the Budget Department webpage after the presentation, and copies will also be distributed to county libraries.

The Budget process will continue with these commissioner meetings:

  • A Detailed Budget Presentation that will start at 9 a.m. on June 3.
  • A Public Hearing on the budget, where residents can give their comments, will be held at 2 p.m. on June 7. Those wishing to speak by phone can call 336-422-1200 at 1:45 p.m. on the day of the meeting. They will be placed on hold and recognized to speak in the order their calls were received.
  • Budget Workshops will be held June 8 and 9 at 9 a.m.
  • A Special Meeting, where the commissioners may possibly adopt the budget, will be held on June 10 at 2 p.m.

If the budget isn’t adopted by the commissioners on June 10, they would consider it at their 2 p.m. meeting on June 24.

“This is an important opportunity for citizens to participate in their local government.” said Watts. “The County Commissioners value input as they set the tax rate and service levels of the County departments and agencies. This is a pivotal year due to it being the quadrennial reappraisal of tax values combined with the unprecedented injection of federal funds into the budget.”

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 consists 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.

Watts will present a proposed balanced budget comprising 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 $574,281 increase in the funds Forsyth Tech receives. The county funds the community college’s maintenance, utilities and facilities. The request is for five additional security officers and salary increases for the college’s county-funded employees.

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Superintendent Tricia McManus and CFO Andrea Gillus presented a request for additional funding to cover the rising costs of retirement, health insurance, utilities, new schools opening, and salary increases for certified and classified staff. WS/FC Schools is projected to receive an estimated $17.6 million for local teacher supplements from the ¼ cent county sales tax, which is a $6.5 million increase form last fiscal year. Including the additional sales tax revenue, the school system is requesting an $12.2 million increase over the current budget. As required by state law, WS/FC Schools will allocate $1.1 million of that increase to charter schools, which is a proportionate amount of the additional sales tax revenue it’ll receive.

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