County Mayor’s Notes – June 15th, 2020

Please take the time to complete your census by visiting or calling 844-330-2020 to get counted today! It matters.

Today’s COVID-19 update follows the County Commission meeting notes.  I am doing these newsletters updates almost daily, excluding weekends, but my social media is the fastest way to get information.  You may want to consider following my social media on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to get this information as quickly as possible.

The June 15th, 2020 meeting of the full County Commission was held with all Commissioners in attendance except Commissioner Lowe.  We were finally able to meet in person following the Governor’s guidelines.

The following resolutions were next on the agenda (resolution sponsor in parenthesis):

RESOLUTION 06-220-16 – This resolution was added to the agenda to give me the authority to negotiate discrimination claims.  The resolution was approved unanimously.

RESOLUTION 06-2020-1 – To appoint Veterans Service Officer (Foster).  Bill Ward, our current Veterans Service Officer, is retiring.  He was actually ready to move on earlier, but agreed to stay with us when the hiring process was delayed due to the pandemic.  We had several very good candidates, but after a lengthy search, Garry Blaisdell was presented for confirmation to the County Commission.  Garry was approved 17-0, and will begin working in the office part-time this week.  He will take over on a full-time basis on July 1, 2020.  Welcome aboard Garry.  I also want to thank Bill Ward.  He came in as our VSO at a difficult time and has done an outstanding job of returning trust and respect to the office.  Well done Bill, well done.

RESOLUTION 06-2020-2 – To accept offer(s) to purchase property owned by Cumberland County (Hyder).  Over 50 properties were sold at the recommendation of the Delinquent Tax Committee and will return to the tax rolls.  The resolution was approved 16-0-1 with Commissioner Kyle Davis abstaining.

RESOLUTION 06-2020-3 – For Architectural Professional Service (Wilson).  This resolution was to approve a contract with the local architectural firm, Upland Design Group (UDG) to develop a program, schematic design and budget for a new garage at the Road Department.  The resolution was approved 16-1 with Commissioner Blaylock voting against.

RESOLUTION 06-2020-4 – For Approval of a Contract for Architectural Services (Wilson).  This resolution was approved 16-1 to hire UDG for repairs, renovations and construction at the County Archives building.  Funds are appropriated from fees that are allocated solely for the preservation of records.  Commissioner Blaylock voted against the resolution.

The following are routine end of year budget resolutions.  Accounting rules will not allow for a deficit in any line, so these amendments are completed each year to make sure each line item is correct.  All were approved.
RESOLUTION 06-2020-5 – Budget Amendment, Central Cafeteria Fund, Board of Education, School Nutrition $2,000.00 (Hyder).
RESOLUTION 06-2020-6 – Budget Amendment, Central Cafeteria Fund, Board of Education, School Nutrition $2,000.00 (Seiber).
RESOLUTION 06-2020-7 – Budget Amendment, Central Cafeteria Fund, Board of Education, School Nutrition $8,702.00 (Wilson).
RESOLUTION 06-2020-8 – Budget Amendment, Central Cafeteria Fund, Board of Education, School Nutrition $10,000.00 (Hyder).
RESOLUTION 06-2020-9 – Budget Amendment, Central Cafeteria Fund, Board of Education, Food Service $37,362.00 (Hyder).
RESOLUTION 06-2020-10 – Budget Amendment, General Purpose School Fund, Audit Adjustments, $669,409.08 (Wilson).
RESOLUTION 06-2020-11 – Budget Amendment, General Purpose School Fund, Board of Education (Mall).
RESOLUTION 06-2020-12 – Budget Amendment, General Purpose School Fund, Board, of Education, Year-End Clean-up (Wilson).
RESOLUTION 06-2020-13 – Budget Amendment, Highway Fund, $2,139.00 (Wilson).
RESOLUTION 06-2020-14 – Budget Amendment, General Fund, $251,444.00 (Cooper).
RESOLUTION 05-2020-15 – Budget Amendment, Sanitation Fund, $115,032.00 (Seiber).

Property tax collections are at 99.6% compared to 100.9% at this time last year.  The second notices for those that haven’t paid were recently sent.  This is later than normal and is due to COVID-19.  Those notices likely will get us over the 100% mark.  Hotel/Motel tax collections are approximately 71.4% of the $817,283 budget as revised down due to last year’s collection.  So far $583,431 has been received, but the COVID-19 pandemic will definitely negatively affect this line item.  Prisoner boarding is at 60.6% of budget at $450,021 after nine months of revenue has been collected.  Local option sales tax collections for the BOE came in at $854,049 which is $2,223 above estimated revenue.  To say this was a bit surprising would be an understatement as these are receipts from March, the first month that we were partially shut down.  The money was spent by consumers in March, remitted to the State in April, and reported on in May.  Overall, we are approximately $60,336 above the budgeted amount year to date.  The next update will be for April spending which was likely the worst month financially.  EMS collections for the month were $358,907.  This puts year to date collections at $4,558,112 which is $891,449 above budget estimates year to date.  The annual budgeted amount is $4,000,000 so we are above that amount with one month left.  Overall, we are in a fragile budget year.  That will continue in to next year as well.

COVID-19 Update
25 active cases (up 2 from previous day)
133 positive cases (up 2 from previous day)
106 recovered (no change from previous day)
2 deaths officially reported (no change from previous day)
5,605 negative tests
5,738 total tested
2.32% percent of those that have been tested were positive
9.62% percent of residents have been tested
0.22% percent of residents have tested positive
0.04% percent of residents have active cases

Thank you for being part of the solution and thank you for the opportunity to serve as your County Mayor.  If you are interested in hearing my thoughts and views on news, events, and activities in Cumberland County, please subscribe to my newsletter, and follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Thank you,

Allen Foster
Cumberland County Mayor

Published by allenfoster

Cumberland County Mayor

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