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Board of Commissioners Meets with Board of Education and County’s State Legislative Delegation to Discuss Priorities

May 23, 2022, 14:11 PM by Loren Bymer

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. – The Cumberland County Board of Commissioners met with the Cumberland County Board of Education and members of Cumberland County’s State legislative delegation on May 23 at the Department of Social Services, 1225 Ramsey St. in Fayetteville to discuss several priorities for the Short Session of the General Assembly.

During the meeting, the two boards asked legislators for additional funding to cover the costs of a state mandate to pay all noncertified school employees a minimum of $15 per hour beginning July 1, 2022. The County is seeking $1.7 million in order to fully implement the mandate for all State-funded positions. The School System is also seeking additional funding from the State to address compression issues that will be caused by moving employees to the $15 per hour minimum salary, as well as a revision to the State formula providing additional state dollars for teacher supplements.

In response to the request, legislators requested that the School System provide a recommendation for the revised formula, along with information regarding the military’s impact on the school district and dollars associated with military-connected students.

Cumberland County Manager Amy Cannon also briefed the delegation on the County’s plans to move forward with the extension of water into the Gray’s Creek area of Cumberland County to serve Alderman and Gray’s Creek Elementary Schools, which have been using bottled water since 2017 due to concerns regarding the presence of Gen-X. Cannon said her recommended budget for FY2023 will include approximately $258,000 for costs associated with beginning the first phase of the project.

She noted that the most recent cost estimate for the full project was $65 million and that the County has set aside $9 million from the County’s Capital Investment Fund for the project and that the Board has approved using $10 million of the County’s American Rescue Plan allocation for the project. The County has also applied for a $15 million grant from the North Carolina Division of Environmental Quality’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, which if received would leave approximately $30 million remaining for the project. She asked for support from the county’s State delegation in identifying additional funds for the project.

In addition to these items, the delegation was also provided with a handout showing all the state grant applications that have been submitted by the County and are currently pending, as well as an update from Fayetteville-Cumberland Economic Development Corporation President Robert Van Geons regarding a feasibility study to extend passenger rail between Fayetteville and Raleigh through Johnston County.

For more information about Cumberland County government visit cumberlandcountync.gov.