ELKIN — Charting an economic direction for the future of the county highlights the agenda when the Surry County Board of Commissioners gathers later this month for its annual retreat.
The day-long retreat is set to begin at 8 a.m. at the Klondike Cabins in State Road on Feb. 22.
The retreat is schedule to begin with a review of existing board goals and priorities delivered by County Manager Chris Knopf.
Following Knopf’s review, commissioners will get into the economics of the county, receiving an update from Betty Taylor, assistant county manager for budget and finance, and Michael Hartgrove, county tax administrator.
Taylor and Hartgrove will address the county’s revenue and property valuation estimates for FY 2013-2014, the county’s existing fund balance, money owed by the county and the anticipated impact of the state’s budget crunch on the county.
The county’s $70,512,445 budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year is funded primarily through property taxes, (42.7 percent) and service fees and grants, (26.1 percent).
Major expenditures for the county include education (32 percent), public health (13.6 percent), social services (15.7 percent) and law enforcement (9.1 percent).
Later in the morning, the board will discuss ongoing economic development initiatives including water and sewer projects and economic development plans for the future.
The board will then receive submissions for funding from the county’s various departments for consideration in next year’s budget.
After breaking for lunch, board members will huddle to begin next year’s budget process.
Board members will first review a wish-list from the county’s school system for needed capital improvements, including a list totaling $2.1 million the school system indicates is “urgent.”
Some of the items on the schools’ list include upgrading the roof and bleachers at East Surry High School, a new roof on the vocational wing of North Surry High School, improvements at Flat Rock and Franklin elementary schools, and new bleachers at both Surry Central High and Central Middle schools.
After hearing from the county department heads, the board will huddle to begin working on next year’s budget and are expected to present county administration with instructions on how to proceed in compiling the budget.
Reach Keith Strange at email@example.com or 719-1929.