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Downeast Seniors host Beaufort County chief financial officer

The Down East Seniors Club held its May 23 meeting at the Blind Center of North Carolina in Washington. Vice President Gary Brinn led the meeting. Jim Hackney played for the singing of “God Bless America,” followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. Charles Smith gave the invocation, and Ed Hamrick read factoids for the date in history.

Brinn introduced Anita Radcliff, chief financial officer for Beaufort County, who spoke about the county government’s upcoming budget. The new budget has to be adopted by the beginning of the fiscal year which is July 1. The county just completed a property revaluation, which is required by the state at least every eight years. Some counties have the revaluation done every four years but Beaufort County stays with the eight-year cycle because the revaluation is done by an outside firm at a cost of $1 million. The total valuation of all the property in the county decreased by 5.5 percent from the 2010 valuation. In order to maintain this year’s budget total of $56.7 million, the tax rate would have to increase by 5 cents per $100 valuation. The county school system requested their number of school resource officers be increased from seven to 14 so there would be one at each school. They also requested $1.8 million dollars for capital expenditures for security systems for the schools over the next five years. The county water system is now composed of seven districts, each with a different billing rate. This may be changed to one district with one rate for the entire county. The solid waste system is composed of 11 convenience sites. This system is supported by the solid waste fee charged each taxpayer and has a very favorable rate compared to other counties.

Ed Bolen won the 50/50 drawing.