From softball fields to health buildings to animal shelters, funding requests have been arriving hot and heavy to the Jackson County Commissioners’ desks as budget season heats up. As the deadline for the 2017-18 budget draws nearer, the pressure to make tough decisions about what gets funded and what doesn’t is increasing.
With an eye to improving student performance and employee retention, Jackson County Public Schools has upped its budget ask to the Jackson County Commissioners — by 25 percent over the allocation given the past seven years.
Jackson County Schools has found itself at the back of the line to get a piece of the quarter-cent sales tax voters passed last year.
A key piece of land bordering Panthertown Valley Backcountry Area will be conserved following a pledge from the Jackson County Commissioners to cover any gap between fundraising dollars and land price that still exists by the April 21 closing date.
On Aug. 9, 2014, an encounter between Officer Darren Wilson and 18-year-old Michael Brown on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, left Brown dead and the entire nation in the midst of a riotous public debate over whether the shooting was a product of racism or self-defense.
The Jackson County Commissioners got some food for thought during a meeting last week exploring the possibility of consolidating some of the county’s health and human resources services into a single department.
The fundraising deadline is drawing nearer for an effort to conserve 15.9 acres adjacent to Panthertown Valley, and the Jackson County Commissioners have indicated a willingness to chip in toward the more than $80,000 still needed.
Harris Regional Hospital Emergency Medical Services is asking the Jackson County Commissioners to make changes to its service that would cost about $200,000 to implement.
Jackson County is hoping that grants will offset the $847,000 cost of extending water and sewer connections to a piece of land being eyed for a new outdoor adventure park in Dillsboro, and last week commissioners gave the county the go-ahead to apply for just such a grant — $50,000 from the N.C. Department of Commerce.
Correction: In the March 1 issue, The Smoky Mountain News incorrectly reported that Jackson Neighbors in Need requested funding from the Jackson County Commissioners. The Southwestern Child Development Commission is the entity that requested the funding, as management of Jackson’s homeless shelter has transitioned from Neighbors in Need to the SWCDC. SMN regrets the error.