Budget Committee conducts first hearing for fiscal year 2022-2023

Published 12:28 am Wednesday, March 30, 2022

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR STAFF
The Carter County Budget Committee on Tuesday heard from over 20 outside agencies seeking funding from for fiscal year 2022-2023.
The requests totaled more than $1.7 million and were an increase of $193,000 more than last year.
Twelve of those requests fell at or under $10,000, while the largest request came from the Carter County Emergency and Rescue Squad at $771,575.
“You can just throw that away,” said EMS Director Terry Arnold of the agency’s initial $430,000 request. “Sullivan and Washington counties have already upped their totals and we are way below salaries to keep employees here.
“All monies asked for are going to salaries. These guys work hard to stay here, but it’s getting harder for them to stay here. “
The EMS director offered a four-year plan for pay increases saying the EMS would ask for $862,000 in fiscal year 2023-2024, $950,000 in fiscal year 2024-2025, and over $1 million in fiscal year 2025-2026 .
The Carter County Volunteer Fire Department requested $477,000 to cover all seven of the county fire departments.
“Our budget is over $1 million and the fire departments cover the remaining budget left over by doing fundraisers,” said David Jones, Carter County Fire Association president. “I think our volunteer fire departments do a great job and you have done a great job of supporting us.”
City Manager Daniel Estes represented the Elizabethton-Carter County Public Library seeking $88,789, an increase of $13,789. The specific requests were $65,000 for general operations programming, $10,000 in general operations/books, and $13,789 for personnel salary and benefits.
While the library plans no new hires,  Estes said part-time employees will have hours increased to meet the state standard of keeping the library open 60 hours per week.
Estes also requested that the city fire departments be funded at the same base level as the county which totals $65,000.  Estes said the city residents pay county taxes and both the city and county work together to cover for each other therefore the city should receive the same amount as the county.
“Why should we bear the burden of the city?,” asked Commissioner Brad Johnson.
Estes said city residents pay county taxes and are entitled to the same funding as the other county volunteer fire departments.
Other increases in funds came from Kids Like Us ($15,000), and NeTrep ($25,000).
The Elizabethton-Carter County Chamber of Commerce, which asked for $225,000 in the 2021-2022 budget, didn’t request any funding for the new fiscal year.
Elizabethton Parks and Rec asked only for $25,000, a decrease from the $100,000 received last year. Park and Rec Director Mike Mains said that $75,000 of those funds was given by the county towards phase one extension of the bike trail at the Hampton watershed.
ARM (Assistance and Resources Ministries) reduced its ask from $23,500 in 2022-2023 to $7,500 for fiscal year 2022-2023.
The next budget hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. on April 11.
BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR STAFF
The Carter County Budget Committee on Tuesday heard from over 20 outside agencies seeking funding from for fiscal year 2022-2023.
The requests totaled more than $1.7 million and were an increase of $193,000 more than last year.
Twelve of those requests fell at or under $10,000, while the largest request came from the Carter County Emergency and Rescue Squad at $771,575.
“You can just throw that away,” said EMS Director Terry Arnold of the agency’s initial $430,000 request. “Sullivan and Washington counties have already upped their totals and we are way below salaries to keep employees here.
“All monies asked for are going to salaries. These guys work hard to stay here, but it’s getting harder for them to stay here. “
The EMS director offered a four-year plan for pay increases saying the EMS would ask for $862,000 in fiscal year 2023-2024, $950,000 in fiscal year 2024-2025, and over $1 million in fiscal year 2025-2026 .
The Carter County Volunteer Fire Department requested $477,000 to cover all seven of the county fire departments.
“Our budget is over $1 million and the fire departments cover the remaining budget left over by doing fundraisers,” said David Jones, Carter County Fire Association president. “I think our volunteer fire departments do a great job and you have done a great job of supporting us.”
City Manager Daniel Estes represented the Elizabethton-Carter County Public Library seeking $88,789, an increase of $13,789. The specific requests were $65,000 for general operations programming, $10,000 in general operations/books, and $13,789 for personnel salary and benefits.
While the library plans no new hires,  Estes said part time employees will have hours increased to meet the state standard of keeping the library open 60 hours per week.
Estes also requested that the city fire departments be funded at the same base level as the county which totals $65,000.  Estes said the city residents pay county taxes and both the city and county work together to cover for each other therefore the city should receive the same amount as the county.
“Why should we bear the burden of the city?,” asked Commissioner Brad Johnson.
Estes said city residents pay county taxes and are entitled to the same funding as the other county volunteer fire departments.
Other increases in funds came from Kids Like Us ($15,000), and NeTrep ($25,000).
The Elizabethton-Carter County Chamber of Commerce, which asked for $225,000 in the 2021-2022 budget, didn’t request any funding for the new fiscal year.
Elizabethton Parks and Rec asked only for $25,000, a decrease of the $100,000 received last year.
ARM (Assistance and Resources Ministries) reduced its ask from $23,500 in 2022-2023 to $7,500 for fiscal year 2022-2023.
The next budget hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. on April 11.

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