Orange County

Board hears thanks, thoughts for next year’s Orange County budget

Katie Bauman and several others came to say thank you Thursday for the county’s support of local nonprofits in the 2017-18 budget proposal.

Bauman is the executive director of Behavior Insights Inc., which could get $9,400 from the county next year — up from $4,000 this year.

The group works with court-referred clients and offers state-certified partner abuse intervention. Next year, they will add the Strong Fathers program for men overcoming family violence, Bauman said. She estimated 6,025 Orange County children are exposed to domestic violence each year.

“It makes no sense to keep treating these children without working with their parents,” she said.

Orange County’s proposed $217.8 million budget includes nearly $1.4 million for local agencies meeting a variety of needs, from feeding hungry people to mentoring young people and providing vital services to residents with mental illness, addiction issues and disabilities.

The Orange County Board of Commissioners will hold a second public hearing on May 18 in Chapel Hill and could approve next year’s budget by June 20.

Other speakers Thursday, including Orange County resident Brenda McCall, took the opportunity to point out some unmet needs.

McCall noted volunteers with Project EngAGE, Seniors and Law Enforcement Together (SALT), and other programs serve more than 220 seniors and people with disabilities. But volunteers can’t meet a growing need for transportation and help with daily activities, McCall said.

She asked the commissioners to add money to next year’s budget for on-demand ride services.

“Please consider options to use ride-sharing services, like Uber or Lyft, coupled with a voucher system to accommodate for income and personal needs,” McCall said.

“This program could be coordinated between the existing Department on Aging program and our transportation department,” she added. “Done well, the program could provide drivers with training and a part- or full-time income.”

Tammy Grubb: 919-829-8926, @TammyGrubb

What’s next

The Orange County Board of Commissioners will hold a second public hearing Thursday, May 18, to discuss the 2017-18 proposed budget. The hearing begins at 7 p.m. in the Southern Human Services Center, 2501 Homestead Road in Chapel Hill.

The commissioners are expected to adopt next year’s budget by June 20.

Budget details

▪ Proposed county budget: $217.8 million

▪ County tax rate: 83.77 cents per $100 in property value

▪ County tax bill: $2,094.25 in county taxes for a $250,000 house

▪ City schools district tax: 20.18 cents per $100 in property value

▪ School district tax bill: $504.50 for a $250,000 house

▪ Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools: $48.5 million local budget, a $2.1 million increase

▪ Orange County Schools: $32.2 million local budget, a $1.4 million increase

▪ County employees: 2 percent raise, 6 weeks of paid parental leave

▪ Solid waste/recycling: $128, a $21 increase

▪ What’s a penny worth: $1.8 million for the county; $1.1 million for the city schools