BOCC Approves Fiscal Year 2019 Operating Budget

BOCCThe Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners approved the Fiscal Year 2019 operating budget during its regular meeting Tuesday night.

The $1.7-billion budget is an increase of $33 million, or 1.9 percent, over the current Fiscal Year 2018 operating budget.

It maintains the County’s commitment to providing critical services and programs for residents, while making important investments aimed at improving economic opportunity in our community.

Highlights include:

Leveraging Technology to Optimize Service Delivery
The Fiscal Year 2019 budget includes $5.7 million in security-focused hardware and software upgrades,
and adds 11 new positions to provide the support needed to advance the necessary security solutions for the County’s IT infrastructure.

Community Health and Wellness
The County continues its transformation of the Public Health Department. In Fiscal Year 2018, the Board appropriated $1.7 million for transformation activities. The budget extends this work with the addition of nine new positions and funding for breast and cervical cancer screenings, family planning services and the Village HeartBEAT Program.

The County has invested heavily in capital projects at our parks, greenways and recreation centers. For Fiscal Year 2018, the County completed 17 park projects. The Fiscal Year 2019 budget includes $441,000 to maintain these assets. In addition, the budget includes eight new positions and $190,000 to maintain new assets scheduled for completion in Fiscal Year 2019 and $200,000 for the removal of invasive plant species in 39 parks.

Optimizing Investments in Criminal Justice Services and Safety and Security 
The budget includes $1.7 million for safety and security enhancements, including weapons screening at several County facilities, additional security guards and security cameras at numerous Park and Recreation facilities, enterprise security system software, the opening of a security operations center and increased funding for the Sheriff’s Office.

Leveraging Financial Resources
Fiscal Year 2019 is the year of property revaluation. To assist with this work, the budget includes an additional investment of $1.9 million for revaluation notices and temporary staff to handle appeals and perform field canvassing while providing top-notch customer service. These investments will position the County to perform property revaluations every four years.

Talent Management
To hire and retain the best and the brightest employees, the Fiscal Year 2019 budget includes $5.9 million for employee compensation, including merit increases. The Budget also includes a new health benefit for eligible employees and retirees by providing access to OurHealth’s five clinic locations throughout the Charlotte area that will offer same-day appointments and provide primary care services and medications at low or no-cost.

The Fiscal Year 2019 budget includes an increase of $1.6 million to CPCC’s operating budget and $4 million for deferred maintenance of college facilities.

For Fiscal Year 2019, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) requested $468.5 million from the County. The budget includes an increase of $31.1 million. The amount funded is intended to fund the following items: $11.8 million for salary increases for locally funded employees, $3.5 million for increased costs for health insurance and retirement contributions, $3.4 million for charter school enrollment growth and $923,000 for additional facility space. Also, it includes $6.9 million from FY2018 lapsed salaries to support the BOCC’s intent for CMS to utilize this one-time revenue to increase the County’s salary supplement for teachers and certified staff.

The budget also includes a one-time funding of $4.6 million in restricted contingency for security enhancements throughout the district.

Early Childhood Education
The Fiscal Year 2018 budget included $6 million to support early childhood education by clearing the NC pre-k wait list. To continue the County’s commitment to early childhood education, the budget includes $9 million to add 33 pre-k classrooms, which will serve 600 children, and $700,000 for additional child care subsidy funding specifically for those enrolled in Mecklenburg County workforce development programs. The budget also includes $300,000 for Renaissance West, which will provide scholarships for up to 21 children at the Howard Levine Child Development Center and life navigators to support 42 parents in their paths to employment.

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