Pamlico County Board of Commissioners approve 2024-2025 fiscal year budget despite concern from residents

PAMLICO COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) -Time is winding down for towns, cities, and counties in the east to approve their budget for the next fiscal year.

For Pamlico County Board of Commissioners, finalizing their proposed budget has been a challenge due to concerns from residents about what’s within but the board got to hear directly from the people Monday.

Commissioners have been working to make final adjustments to their proposed 2024-2025 fiscal year budget for the past few weeks, but have struggled with cutting costs.

Many came to address talks of possible school cuts being included within the proposed budget during a public hearing Monday night.

Pamlico County Superintendent Jeremy Johnson says the schools budget request to the county was an increase of 10.2% for the fiscal year 2024, but says the recommendation made to commissioners by County Manager Tim Buck was to provide a 3.5% increase to all funded agencies within the county and they’d need to accommodate money from the fund balance towards this increase for the fiscal year 2025.

Last week, the board chairman told WITN that they had no desire to cut school cost.

After the public hearing, the board approved the budget with a 5-2 vote.

“Would we like to have a little bit more? Absolutely,” said John Prescott, Pamlico County Schools Chairman. “It would help us pay the uncontrollables.”

“We’ve cut so much out of the budget request for our departments that it’s almost made me sick at times,” said Pat Prescott, Pamlico County Commissioner. “I just don’t see where we could cut something else that would allow us to live within our means.”

Also, included within the budget is a 2-cent tax increase for residents along with a 64.5 cents tax rate.