Wake County adopts budget that will eliminate 100+ positions, but maintain public schools funding

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Wake County Monday afternoon passed its budget for the 2021 fiscal year. The budget eliminates more than 100 positions due to a reduction of $29 million in projected revenue and no property tax increase.

Among the budget cuts is removing two 12-hour ambulances and scaling back the county’s EMT-to-paramedic program and reducing part-time and temporary staffing at the Wake County Animal Shelter. It will also open all county libraries an hour later and close them an hour earlier, thus cutting 32 positions, a news release said.

The cuts also will reduce professional development opportunities and eliminate performance pay increases, the release said.

The Wake County Public Schools System will still receive historic funding provided in 2020. The county said it will increase spending in the school system by almost $12 million to $527.9 million, bringing its estimated per-pupil spending to $2,932.

The budget also increases funding to Emergency Medical Services by $534,000, thus allowing the county to postpone a transition away from contracts with nonprofit EMS agencies until it can be further discussed, the release said.

Wake County will also provide an additional $1.25 million in funding to various community organizations and nonprofit groups.

“COVID-19 has dramatically changed our financial picture for the coming year, reducing our projected revenue by $29 million,” Board Chairman Greg Ford said in the release. “However, by using creative funding options, we are able to continue to fund our public schools at historic levels and support community organizations that serve our most vulnerable residents during this challenging time.”

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