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Fayette expects pay hike, no property tax increase

A $46.7 million budget proposed for county government is expected to be adopted Thursday night by the Fayette County Commission.

There is no property tax increase proposed for the budget, but citizens nonetheless can have their say at a public hearing that will be part of Thursday’s regular commission meeting.

The budget includes a 2 percent cost of living adjustment (COLA) for all employees and another 2 percent one-time pay incentive for employees if their department meets budgeting guidelines and they are otherwise eligible.

The COLA will cost $707,000 and would be the first such salary bump county employees have received since 2008, according to County Administrator Steve Rapson.

The budget as proposed would not dip into the county’s cash reserves (also known as fund balance), but instead is projected to add to them by about $500,000, Rapson said.

The budget includes $5.76 million in water system bond proceeds which will be used to upgrade the county’s two water treatment plants to improve water quality and meet EPD requirements, Rapson said.

The budget also includes $5.8 million in capital projects, among which is $1.5 million to refurbish the “old jail” facility, allowing jail staffers to spread out the classifications of inmates as necessary and improve jail capacity, Rapson said.

There is also $297,000 set aside to rehabilitate the exterior of the county’s historic courthouse in downtown Fayetteville and $150,000 for a “splash pad” addition to McCurry Park east of the city. The splash pad, essentially a cooling-off area with water jets for children to play in, could be ready by next summer if approved in the budget, according to Recreation Director Anita Godbee.

Other significant projects in the budget include:

• $25,000 for redesign of the county’s website;

• $50,000 for the countywide visioning effort;

• $25,000 to revamp the county’s permits and inspections process to make it more streamlined for the business community;

• $25,000 to install an in-ground electrical grid system at the historic downtown courthouse for events hosted there such as the annual Courthouse Art Show and the like.

• $15,000 for sidewalks as a matching grant for “Safe Routes to Schools” initiatives;

• $15,000 to continue the county’s successful weight watchers health wellness program; and

• $5,000 towards the Blended Heritage Day program hosted by the Fayette County Public Library; this figure in the past has been reached by seeking donations from the community, Rapson explained.



Why are the citizens forced to donate $50K to a group that hasn't allowed the public to really participate and be heard?

While I agree that we as a county need to have a plan, the selection of the participants and the focus is mainly from one point of view. If the county commissioners want to be true to their campaign promises, they would have insisted that the public be invited to more than a dog and pony show. A posting could have easily been issued on the county website to those that wanted to take part in the process.

Let the COC donate. Where's Pinewoods donation?

Or is this a big thank you to the commissions "good ole boy" friend for his help with their campaign?

The truth is if the county truly engaged in a visioning study the cost would be more than $50k. However, I would hope it would pay for a truly world class consultant. As much as I have tried to buy in with Market Street, they continue to prove my first impression.

The insistance on parroting the "high level of engagement and participation" just isn't true and just continues to diminish the credibility of this study. I hope Commissioner Brown will get more involved and engage the public in a reasonable manner. I just wonder if the participation rate they cite has to do with the select groups and their agendas and not the people of Fayette County.

One example that sticks out. I was talking with someone who went to one of the focus groups at Dolce. They were very excited that there were strong represntation from groups that are not normally out front in Faytte County. How many of the 25+ PTOs were involved? If they all werent involved ( they weren't) how many PTOs ( or former PTOs ) had more than one participant? The point is the focus groups do not appear to be selected to be demographically representative. I would expect this if we did not have a consultant. Why are we paying for this? Which groups were asked for focus group members how were they selected. This should be disclosed as it is informative.

But I do not think we are supposed to ask the COC about their business.

Last summer at a meeting, Brian Cooper, Pinewood VP, made it very clear they do not contribute to nonprofits, charities, other requests for donations of any kind, so I would not expect any to be forthcoming, for any cause.

Let's take and not give back.

I bet Mr. Cathy didn't realize he was working with a bunch of gonnifs when he agreed to join forces.

It's just sad that the community bends over backwards for them, and they give nothing back.

just a little overboard here. Last summer, when I heard him say this was right about the time the 200 million tent pole deal was announced and everyone was in a feeding frenzy over Pinewood. Everyone wanted a piece of them and they had barely broken ground. And remember, the studio does not make money unless production companies are using their facilities. I think it was a preemptive comment to get everyone to stop wanting something from them at the time. They are creating some jobs. Much slower than we hoped for, fewer than we hoped for.

I think the expectations were set so high there was no way to go but down. Let's see what happens over the next year. They have only been open a few months.

Did you hear that Harrison Ford broke his foot/ankle on the Pinewood set in London and will be out for maybe six months? He might not even be in the new movie (no Hans Solo..gasp!) or they might shut down production. Pinewood is in turmoil right now over this, so we need to offer Tom Selleck in his place.:)

Chick fil a, Coke, Zac Brown, countless local small, medium, and large businesses and employees all give back. Drive thru the BSC and you can see the local businesses that give back to the community that supports them. I pay more for certain goods and services because the companies support certain local programs, and I am good with that.

It builds relationships.

If you're looking for the job as Harrisons stunt double, I know who you can talk to. And I'm not referring to the security guard who tries to keep me out of the studio.

What better way for Pinewood to say thank you for the welcome than a nice donation to the county for local programs and charities. Maybe all 10 of the employees and the 20 or so vendors can help with a habitat house or something.

Relationships baby.

this is no US Corporation. Maybe the Brits will come around. Hey, maybe they will donate the performing arts center and it will be named ChickN Center or Pinewood Pavillion. How's that for a vision, babe.

Would hate to have to picket the site with the goons from the hall

from the what?

Use goons from the union hall? Lol

Pinewood can open the first county cricket club and invite the former development authority folks, county and city leaders as their founding members. Once a year they can invite some of the less fortunate youth in the gate to expose them to the game.

An article in Variety yesterday says revenues for Pinewood Shepperton rose 16.5% to $109 million in the past financial year which ended March 31st. Profit after tax of $91.9 million, up $3.06 million from the year before.

The British government has just approved a $340 million expansion there, doubling the size with 12 new large stages, workshops and production offices.

It mentions completion of the the first phase of construction at Pinewood Atlanta as a joint venture with Rivers Rock, too. No other information on that.

I see it as they are gearing up for coming productions. Either many of them or really big ones or both. Bodes well, I think. Just taking longer than we all expected.

I think we need to educate them in the ways of how things are done in the U.S., not necessarily the other way around. We are their first facility in this country so there is a learning curve going on, both ways.

I can think of no better model to do that than the Cathy family. We all can learn from their giving ways.

The "Bob Father" of the commissioners.

I really did LOL

chair the vision group himself, he would have been all over this as improperly managed.

If Bob keeps telling everyone the community was engaged, then I guess its true? Right?

I don't care if you have the COC or political leaders chair the thing, because it IS something we need. I have a problem with the lack of transparency, the lack of community representation, and the agendas they were trying to manipulate with some of the writers.

The consultant should be ashamed of the mindmixer website.

I thought the county water system was a separate enterprise system and only water customers paid for use of the county water system. Unless I read this article incorrectly, seems the water department is now combined with the County budget. Did I read incorrectly?


I am not sure if this is the whole story, but I think the bond was passed a few years ago and now county needs to approve use of some of those funds to upgrade the Crosstown treatment plant and I think one other item. Even though it is new expenditure, the money has already been set aside from the bond for this purpose.

Can you find a few bucks to mow the median on Hwy 54 and the sides of the other county roads before the weeds get to be waist high? Has it been so long that we have all forgotten what well groomed main roads in this county used to look like? Who knows, small illegal children from south of the border could be hiding in there and we would never know...jeesh!

Excuse me County commission and Mr. Rapson. I did get a property tax increase so did all the other Fayette County Residents whose property assessments went up.


The tax Commissioner assesses value of your home based on comparable sales in your neighborhood. The tax rate didn't change, the value of your home went up

The tax assessors value the property. The tax commissioner sends you the bill.


thats what I meant to say. I was dictating in the car.

Tax revenue is derived by the assessed value times the millage rate. If either changes, it affects the tax revenue. So if you get an increase in assessment and millage remains the same, you have an increase in taxes.


zoes's picture

the county?__s successful weight watchers health wellness program

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye." Miss Piggy

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