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Nash board OKs more jail funding

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BY LINDELL JOHN KAY
Staff Writer

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

NASHVILLE — The Nash County Board of Commissioners on Monday approved funding for jail security upgrades as part of its fiscal year 2019 budget.

After a public hearing in which no one spoke, commissioners added $500,000 for capital needs at the Nash County Detention Center.

"We wanted to have the funds for security improvements at the jail if needed," said Nash County board Chairman Robbie Davis.

The budget also has $273,000 set aside for jail operations and $220,000 for three cruisers with the Sheriff's Office purchasing another three vehicles via federal asset forfeiture funds.

The budget holds the county's property tax rate at 67 cents per $100 in valuation while expanding the budget by 1.22 percent, from $93.9 million in 2018-19 to $95 million in 2019-20.

Highlights of the 2019-20 budget include a promised 5 percent cost-of-living raise for all permanent full-time employees; level funding for Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools; and a 3 percent increase for Braswell Memorial Library if municipalities agree to their share of the increase.

New full-time positions include one employee in Human Resources, two employees in Social Services, three employees in the Sheriff's Office and five employees in the Health Department.

The new positions in Human Resources, Health and Social Services were all home health employees who were retained by the county when home health was sold in August, said County Manager Zee Lamb.

The budget — based on an anticipated collection of $49 million in taxes paid on property, public utilities and motor vehicles — was approved unanimously.

The board also approved funding for a new economic development department. The board is setting aside $332,084 for Economic Development staff and operational expenses to pursue retail and industry growth in Nash County through marketing and recruitment; $1,012,329 for inducements previously approved in public hearings for established industrial businesses; $30,000 for retail and small business support services; $15,000 to be allocated for maintaining Nash County corporate parks for industrial recruitment; and $14,000 to the Highway 17/64 Association for ongoing work to establish Interstate 87 from Raleigh to Norfolk through Nash County.

The board has $83,270 appropriated to fund Carolina Gateways Partnership to pursue industry growth and expansion in Nash County through marketing and recruitment. The relationship with the Gateway ends in October.

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