Financial questions come to Dare County Commissioners – The Coastland Times

Each year, Dare County updates its five-year general fund projection.

A current plan is something that rating agencies expect to see.

On July 18, Dare County Chief Financial Officer David Clawson presented the fiscal 2023 to fiscal 2027 projection to the County Board of Commissioners.

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To make the projection, Clawson uses past data and the fiscal year 2023 budget. The projection is derived from an Excel spreadsheet function that provides a lower and upper bound.

In his presentation, Clawson said that due to recent revenue volatility and increased expenses, the gap between the high and low limits “has widened a lot.”

“There is no structural fiscal imbalance,” Clawson said. In the forecast scenario, the fund balance decreases by approximately $9 million. Clawson reported that “fund balances decline in each scenario, but not significantly.”

The report also projected annual debt service as a percentage of consolidated General Fund expenditure. “Debt service is generally fixed and cannot be adjusted in the event of an economic downturn,” reads a presentation slide.

Over the five-year period, the projected percentage ranges from a low of 10.9% in fiscal year 2027 to a high of 14.46% in fiscal year 2025.

Rating agencies call 16% very good.

Commissioner Rob Ross said screening was a “financially responsible position”.

The Commissioners also passed an Investment Project Ordinance for Series 2022C Limited Bonds. The amendment relates to pre-construction fees for the venture manager, Barnhill Contracting Company, for $507,298.

The project concerns the various developments of emergency medical aid stations and the transformation of the Masonic Lodge into a Youth Center in Manteo.

Some changes have been made to the EMS plan.

Nags Head informed the county that it “is not ready to proceed with a project”.

For Kitty Hawk, the plan called for joint Kitty Hawk police and emergency medical stations. An EMS projects document states: “The City of Kitty Hawk has suspended the project indefinitely after a cost estimate from the construction manager at risk.”

And the joint project for Rodanthe is on hold for now.

However, in the Capital Investment Fund, a Dare County-only EMS station was added to the S2024 Limited Obligation Bonds at $6.5 million and $7 million was added for a Rodanthe EMS station.

In additional money movements, the commissioners:

– Approved a North Carolina Flood Mitigation Assistance Grant providing $1,395,732 in Federal Emergency Management Agency funding to raise 13 homes. The owners are paying the required consideration of 25% in the amount of $465,244. County Executive Robert L. Outten was authorized to sign the agreement. Four houses are in Hatteras Village, two in Frisco, two in Manteo, two in Kitty Hawk, one in Stumpy Point, one in Rodanthe, and one in Salvo.

– Authorized Outten as county manager to designate specific properties or spaces as temporarily surplus and to lease those parcels or spaces for up to one year. Outten must notify the commissioners at the first meeting following this lease.

In the consent diary, the commissioners:

– Approved a service agreement with Damuth Trane of Chesapeake, Va. to provide a scheduled maintenance program on the Dare County Animal Shelter rooftop HVAC units and boiler system from July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2027. The contract for four inspections per year starts at $16,416 per year and ends at $19,584.

— Accepted bid from Basnight Construction Company, Inc. for the Hatteras Island Waterline Relocation Project between Avon and Buxton at $638,815.

– Approval of a competitive North Carolina Emergency Management Capacity Building grant for Dare County Emergency Management to acquire an Unmanned Aircraft System drone to enhance assessment capabilities storm damage. The drone can be used by other county agencies. The grant provides $15,000 for purchase and $1,200 for training.

– Added Ernie Dabiero, Budget Analyst/Internal Auditor, as Assistant Finance Officer to serve as back-up for Staff Action Forms and Contracts.

– Approved a budget amendment to accept a $600,000 grant from the Shallow Navigation Fund for the dredging of Hatteras Inlet by the Miss Katie. Dare County is responsible for up to $200,000 in matching funds that will come from the Hatteras Inlet Maintenance Account.

– Approved a budget amendment to accept funding from the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services – Division of Soil and Water Conservation to assist with debris removal in some of the ditch systems of Manteo drainage. The award is in the amount of $35,710.


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