On June 6, the Columbus County Board of Commissioners unanimously adopted the FY 2022-23 budget for all funds. The adopted budget maintains the current tax rate of 80.5 cents with no tax increase in the coming budget year. The budget came under tough scrutiny by the state auditor’s office after the county received unsatisfactory audits in 2018, 2019 and 2020.
Columbus County was added to the “unit letter” list that required monitoring by the state auditor. Due to the hard work by the current finance director, Jay Leatherman and his excellent staff, the budget was permitted to move forward by the state auditor’s office and has been officially adopted by the Board of Commissioners. The adopted budget takes effect on July 1.
Also, on June 20 at 6:30 p.m. the board will receive the final draft of the Recreation Master Plan from WithersRavenel. I want to especially thank everyone who participated in the masterplan process, filled out opinion surveys, attended workshops, and helped our consultants get a true assessment of the recreational needs of our citizens and residents.
If you are interested in learning more about the masterplan, please attend the county commissioners meeting located at 127 West Webster Street (third floor) in Whiteville on June 20 or view the meeting online at www.columbusco.org.
In the coming months, the commissioners will be discussing the very important matter of our emergency medical services program.
The current system relies exclusively on the service of the nine volunteer departments from cross the county. With limited resources and a reduced number of volunteers than ever before, our rescue departments have done a remarkable job providing medical aid to those in need. It is now necessary to explore options to adequately fund the program and help meet the needs of our citizens.
Finally, as we approach the Fourth of July holiday, please enjoy the time with your friends and families but by all means be careful on the highways and waterways. Use caution when around fireworks and only use those approved under North Carolina law.
June If you are going to be enjoying time on our lakes and rivers, please be safe and wear a life jacket. The holidays are a time to celebrate life and freedom but can also be a time of tragedy and loss of life when caution is not exercised.
May God bless you and your family!