Chatham County BBS

xx Proposed 2018 Chatham Budget Includes Tax Increase
May 03, 2016, 01:33:57 PM by Gene Galin
Proposed 2018 Chatham Budget Includes Tax Increase

PITTSBORO, NC The Chatham County Managers Office presented the proposed 2016-17 budget to the Board of Commissioners on May 2, 2016. The proposed general fund budget of $107 million includes a property tax increase of 1.19 cents to fund three major new facilities in the adopted 2017-2023 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP).

Public hearings on the budget proposal are slated for May 16, 2016, 6 pm, Historic Courthouse in Pittsboro and May 17, 2016, 6 pm, Siler City Courtroom in Town Hall.

County Manager Renee Paschal said, Our revenue growth remains healthy and is sustaining our general operations, including opening the new Agriculture & Conference Center.  However, three major construction projects in the CIP represent a large share of growth in the general fund budget. The tax increased will be dedicated to the transfer to debt service for fund those projects. It is the first property tax increase since 2010-11.

For someone with a $100,000 home, the proposed tax increase would add about $11.90 per year to the property tax bill. For a $500,000 home, the tax bill increase by about $59.50 per year.

The tax increase will help fund:

         A new Health Sciences Building for Central Carolina Community College, slated to open in 2018, construction in 2017, $14.3 million

         A new elementary school in northeast Chatham, slated to open in 2021, $30.6 million

         An expansion of the planned new high school in the northeast from an initial capacity of 800 students to 1,000 students (maximum capacity of 1,200 students), slated to open in 2021, an additional $5 million in the CIP

The proposed budget includes a five-percent increase in funding for Chatham County Schools, including: an additional $846,000 for current expense (three reading teachers, five positions to manage grade configurations in small schools and 10 testing positions); an additional $320,000 for capital outlay; and $300,000 in contingency if the state approves pay raises.

Paschal said that growth in revenues this year will help with new operational expenses, including $221,766 for an almost full year of operations of the new Agriculture & Conference Center and $245,000 to fund a full year of operations for the new Joint County-Schools Bus Garage.

Most growth in revenues has come from locally collected sales taxes, up 12 percent from last year, and vehicle taxes, up eight percent over last year.  The growth in sales taxes is considerably higher than the statewide average of five percent and may be due in part to a county management campaign to have sales outside the county correctly assigned to Chatham if the purchases are delivered here.

Lisa West, budget manager, said that the General Assembly also has given the county additional sales tax revenue, starting in 2016-17.  This new revenue kept the recommended tax increase about one cent lower than would be required otherwise.

Other CIP changes in the proposed budget include:

         Transferring $936,219 from fund balance to open the new Animal Shelter in 2018-19, one year early.

         Moving $161,157 from the Pittsboro Elementary roof project to a mobile pod for Northwood High, which will increase its capacity until a new high school is built. School officials believe the Pittsboro Elementary roof can be funded as planned, even with this shift in funding.

County Manager Paschal said that Chatham County continues to battle competitive salaries in surrounding urban and suburban counties.  In fiscal year 2014, we brought employees up to market pay with the support of commissioners. To stay competitive in this region, we are including a recommended three percent salary increase for all employees.

As is happening across the state and nation, the cost of employee health insurance is increasing, up by 15 percent in the county, despite a major management focus on wellness and prevention. The county also is required by the state to increase contributions to the retirement system by 0.25 percent.

The proposed budget includes funding for 10.5 new staff positions at a net cost of $324,543:

         5 positions required for jail operations to comply with new federal requirements to prevent rape in jails and prisons;

         2.5 positions in Social Services to handle increased workload for the NC Fast program;

         A new administrative position for Central Permitting, the second  largest department without such support;

         An event services manager for the new Agriculture & Conference Center to supervise part-time temporary workers for event setup and breakdown (county could not identify a qualified contractor to do the work);

         Conversion of a health nutritionist to a full-time position due to increased workload; and

         Conversion of the library systems outreach director to full time to increase community-based services.

Three of the counties fire districts are requesting increases in their tax rates, while one is requesting a decrease:

         Bennett seeks an increase from eight to nine cents to cover a new fire engine;

         Goldston seeks an increase from eight to nine cents to hire four new part-time personnel, create a fund for future equipment needs, and to help fund the purchase of property and a fire station;

         Northview seeks a 0.3 cent increase to 8.6 cents to match the amount it gets from Lee County; and

         Parkwood requests a decrease of one cent to 10.5 cents thanks to savings from restructuring.

The proposed budget supports a priority goal of the Board of Commissioners on affordable housing in several ways. Highlights are:

         Triangle J Council of Governments  providing staff support on the issue;

         School of Government development of plans to turn Henry Siler School in Siler City into affordable rentals or low-income senior housing;

         Council on Aging and Rebuilding Together partnership to address substandard housing needs;

         Matching funds for a collaborative grant on affordable housing, in partnership with United Way and Triangle Community Foundation; and

         Elimination of the permit fee for building residential handicapped ramps.

Technology enhancements including:  software that will make it easier for residents to complete forms and track them online; software allowing mobile access by permitting inspectors; and expanded uses of geographic information systems (GIS).

A few county fees are recommended for changes, primarily increases in Public Health clinic fees to match Medicaid reimbursement rates.  The planned rental and usage fees for the new Agriculture & Conference Center have been adjusted to better reflect rates of similar conference facilities in the region.

The proposed budget will be on the county website ( by May 5. Look for the Quick Links box at the top right of the page. By May 5, printed copies of the recommended budget will be at the three library branches.

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April 29, 2016, 10:07:34 AM by Gene Galin
This topic has been moved to Free Classifieds & Help Wanted Ads.

xx Sheriff Webster to Retire
April 22, 2016, 07:46:02 PM by Wilderness Voice

Great service he has rendered to Chatham County over the years of public service
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xx Miss Norma rocking Siler/Chatham Co.
April 22, 2016, 03:12:36 PM by natvrabit

Check it out! Fabulous woman on her bucket list journey and her stops in Chatham County and having FUN in Siler City.
U GO NORMA! UR an amazing woman!
Txs for visiting us!
All best blessings to U on UR journey!
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xx Geesh...wash your hands
April 20, 2016, 03:19:43 PM by gt27312
I rarely come to the chatlist or BB to complain. My husband is my go-to guy! But my experience today compels me to send a "heads-up" to those professionals who have cause to enter my personal space. Puuulllleeeze....all you barbers, stylists, hygienists, opticians, optomotrists, dentists, etc. wash your hands and chew on a mint after you've had your cigarette break! I won't mention where I was today but needless to say I was a client to someone who had to place their hands around and on my face and I could barely stand the smell of nicotine that assaulted my air supply. Disgusting. I don't smoke but I make sure I brush my teeth and present myself in an appropriate way for you. Please do the same for me or I won't be returning to your establishment.
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xx Chatham Commissioners approve option to enhance megasites attractiveness
April 19, 2016, 03:11:35 PM by Gene Galin
Chatham Commissioners approve option to enhance megasites attractiveness

PITTSBORO At its April 18 meeting, the Chatham County Board of Commissioners approved an option for purchase of the Chatham-Siler City Advanced Manufacturing (CAM) site west of Siler City. The county would only be obligated to purchase the land if and when a company chooses the CAM site.

Putting the property under public control is a major enhancement in marketing the site and will ensure that the NC Department of Commerce will give priority to promoting the CAM site to potential industries, said County Commissioner Chair James Crawford. In a very competitive market, we need every advantage we can leverage. This is a huge step.

Crawford added, This is our chance to stand up and say that we want jobs in this county. Our megasite is further along in its development than other megasites in the state, but the others are catching up. Public control is another major selling point for our site.

The N.C. Department of Commerce has told the Chatham Economic Development Corporation (EDC) that they give top priority to marketing sites that are publicly controlled, because manufacturers making large investments expect that.

Public ownership eases the process of obtaining infrastructure and controls the land sales price, said Kyle Touchstone, EDC president.

County Manager Renee Paschal said, The county pays the $540,654 up front as part of the option, but does not pay the full land purchase price until a company has decided to locate on the site. The option may be exercised anytime up to June 30, 2017, with the county able to purchase the entire site or a portion no smaller than 500 acres.

The option would be funded by proceeds of the 2015 sale of property in the Central Carolina Business Campus, which was earmarked for economic development.

A financial model developed by the EDC with input from the county shows that the county can repay the cost of the land using additional taxes received from the business investment. The county has also consulted its financial advisors to ensure the purchase will not jeopardize the countys AAA bond rating.

Crawford said, While we have no crystal ball to see what impact this investment will have, we do not want to have regrets for what might have been. Attracting a company of this magnitude would have tremendous economic impact for all of Chatham County and the entire state.

To learn more about the CAM site, visit or contact the Chatham EDC at (919) 542-8274.
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xx To land an auto plant Chatham must compete in real world of economic development
April 19, 2016, 03:10:18 PM by Gene Galin
To land an auto plant Chatham County must compete in the real world of economic development

By Brian Bock

Pittsboro, NC As a conservative republican Im philosophically opposed to using tax payer dollars as an incentive to attract business and jobs.  However, Ive discovered over the past several years, in the real world of economic development, it is a fact of life. As long as our competitors are offering incentives we have to play by the rules currently in place or not be in the game at all. We should use incentives carefully and only if the payback is substantial.

Chatham County MegasiteFor several years the County, Siler City, Duke Power, Norfolk Southern railway, our EDC, and many others have been working to attract a major manufacturer such as an auto plant to Chatham County. There are many steps that need to be taken to make this happen and weve completed most of them. There is still one missing piece that needs immediate action.

Every economic development professional at the local and state level Ive spoken with over the past three years has said that the mega-site property needs to be under public control and available as an incentive option. The property is currently not within the countys control. To remedy that, the commissioners are debating whether or not to purchase an option on the property currently owned by two individuals.

Simply put, if we do not purchase the option, our efforts to attract an automobile manufacturer will be stalled indefinitely. If we do purchase the option there are no guarantees but our opportunities will expand exponentially.

The thousands of jobs that will be created, hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue, and millions of dollars in weekly payroll that will result in the successful effort  far outweigh the risk. The price being paid for the option and per acre price if the county were to exercise it is expensive but in line with the price per acre for similar type sites. Worst case scenario is we purchase the option and dont exercise it. Best case scenario is we attract an auto manufacturer and fundamentally transform the economy of Siler City, the County, and the region. In the worst case scenario the county would forfeit a large percentage of the money spent. That would be a tough pill to swallow I know. However, the opportunity lost by not acting puts us in a much worse situation.

Please contact your commissioners and let them know they have your support in this effort. They will be voting on this Monday, April 18 during their regular meeting beginning at 6:00pm.
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xx CJ - Ladies Nine Hole Golf League is being formed at Chapel Ridge Golf Club
April 19, 2016, 03:08:25 PM by Gene Galin
Ladies Nine Hole Golf League is being formed at Chapel Ridge Golf Club

Pittsboro, NC This is to announce that a Ladies Nine Hole Golf League is being formed at Chapel Ridge Golf Club. We will be playing on Thursday mornings, beginning on May 12, 2016, and playing through the month of October.

Chapel Ridge Golf ClubAlthough we intend for this to be a fun, social experience, we will also be observing the rules of golf and proper golf course etiquette. All players must have a USGA handicap, or agree to begin the process of establishing a handicap at the beginning of the golf season.  This league will be open to all players; new players, experienced players, club members, and non-club members.

There will be a kick-off social for all interested players scheduled before May 12; where and when to be announced in a future communication.

FMI: Call 919-533-6979, text 305-778-7091 or email
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xx Sink hole updates
April 14, 2016, 08:30:49 AM by kimmimom
Is the one near PHS fixed (Hamlett Ch Rd or Jones Ferry) yet?  Lystra still set for reopening June 3?  Anyone know?   
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xx Post Count
April 11, 2016, 07:50:05 AM by Conehead
Is it just my observation........especially in an election year where vote counts or tallys can have an impact.........that one certain individual is amassing an incredible number of posts in a short period of time?

I just wanted to know if there is a BBS "post" election that I wasn't aware of. And, if this is the case, what is the prize?

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