The Cumberland County Commission met for a public hearing followed by a special called meeting to approve the 2023-2024 budget on Monday evening.

Mayor Allen Foster stated that work began on this budget on May 5, 2023, with all-day budget hearings.  Since then, Tuesday and Thursday evenings have been set aside to complete the work.  Highlights of the budget include a property tax rate which is remaining the same at $1.1350.  This rate is projected to bring in just over $25.3 million with a five percent reserve for delinquency.  This is an increase of approximately $900,000 from last year.  In all, the budget comes in at $157.2 million.  The Board of Education budgets account for approximately 62.69 percent of that total, the county General Fund 24.13 percent, Debt Service 4.53 percent, the Highway Department 4.42 percent, and Solid Waste 2.61 percent.  Sales tax projections are $21,998,322 with 92.5 percent of that going to the school system.

The Solid Waste department will be getting an additional full-time driver to help with the historically high volumes of trash.  This was accomplished by changing the part-time position to full-time.  The Register of Deeds and the Parks & Recreation departments also received an additional full-time employee by giving up their part-time funds.  Funds to operate the new Building Codes department that will open in January were also allocated.  There was a five percent increase in the county in health insurance as well.

Capital expenditure funding highlights include equipment to start the new Building Codes department, a bucket truck for county maintenance, five patrol cars for the Sheriff’s Department, upgrades to equipment at the jail, upgrades to the communications systems for first response, three EMS ambulances, IV pumps, and video laryngoscopes.  There were updates at the Community Complex, equipment for the VSO, as well as funds allocated to purchase land for a new fire department station.  The Solid Waste department is getting some much-needed equipment that should help to alleviate full bins at our busier convenience centers.  There were various other capital needs as well that came to a total of approximately $2.5 million.

The non-profit budget is approximately $229,000 with donations/contracts to the Chamber of Commerce, Cumberland County Playhouse, and the Cumberland County Rescue Squad, as well as the other standard donations.

Again, this budget absorbs all items without a tax increase.

RESOLUTION 08-14-2023-1 Fixing the Tax Levy in Cumberland County, Tennessee for the Fiscal Year beginning July 1, 2023.

As mentioned earlier, there is no tax increase in this budget.  Your tax pennies will be distributed as follows:

General Fund $0.7391
Solid Waste/Sanitation $0.1238
General Purpose School $0.0836
General Debt Service $0.1885

Total Combined Property Tax Rate of $1.1350

This resolution was approved unanimously.

RESOLUTION 08-14-2023-2 – To approve and adopt an updated Wage Scale and Classification Schedule.

A few items in the county salary scale were updated after review by a third-party company.  Highlights included moving the Fire Chief to the same pay grade as the EMS and EMA Directors and changing the Maintenance and Parks & Recreation Supervisors to Directors. All employees received an across-the-board salary increase of 6 percent.

The county minimum wage for part-time was increased to $11.53 per hour, and the minimum wage for full-time employees is $12.68 per hour.

This resolution was approved 14-0.

RESOLUTION 08-14-2023-3 – Making appropriations for the various funds, departments, institutions, offices, and agencies of Cumberland County, Tennessee, for the year beginning July 1, 2023, and ending June 30, 2024.

This is the resolution that allocates funding and sets budgets for the various items discussed above.

This resolution was approved 13-1 with Commissioner Isham voting against it.

RESOLUTION 08-14-2023-4 – Appropriations to non-profit charitable organizations of Cumberland County, Tennessee for the year beginning July 1, 2023, and ending June 30, 2024.

This resolution approves appropriations to the various non-profits summarized above.

This resolution was approved 13-1 with Commissioner Isham voting against it.

RESOLUTION 08-14-2023-5 – Approving Election Commission election official’s compensation.

This resolution set the pay for the election officials that ensure we have such smooth elections.

This resolution was approved unanimously.

RESOLUTION 08-14-2023-6 – Designating funds to the highway department as a single occurring contribution.

This resolution appropriated $2 million to the road department to help repair the roads in the county.  The road department is also receiving over $3 million from the state to work on state aid roads and had $1 million reappropriated for equipment earlier this year.

This resolution was approved 14-0.

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