Hyde County commissioners, school board at odds over budget

Hyde Co. budget talks
Hyde Co. budget talks(WITN)
Published: Jul. 14, 2022 at 8:53 PM EDT
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SWAN QUARTER, N.C. (WITN) - The Hyde County Board of Commissioners and school board members are clashing over this year’s budget.

The fiscal year runs from July until June. Both the county and school board have been in meetings the past few days.

County board members have a goal of getting the school board budget down to $1.3 million. The problem is that the school board had a budget of $1.7 million the last three years.

Discussions Wednesday were heated. One county commissioner was so frustrated, he walked out.

County Manager Kris Nobles argued that giving the full $1.7 million to the school board would take from other programs that need it, like disaster recovery efforts.

“We are in a position where we could no longer front that disaster recovery money. We cannot afford to go into our fund balance not one more time, not until we build it back,” Nobles said.

School board members argue that reducing a budget from $1.7 million to $1.3 million, with the economy as it is now, would force more cuts in personnel, programs and services.

“The school board’s had a flat budget from the county for three years in a row now and asked for a very slight increase. And instead what they got was nearly a 25% decrease, and if you look at inflation and everything that’s going on, you can see the erosion in the ability to provide for people, programs, services and so on,” Edward Schwartz, the board’s attorney said.

Mediation will continue to try and reach an agreement. A mediator will decide if those discussions stay open to the public.

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