County commissioners cry foul over state budget proposals

County commissioners across the state are protesting proposed state budget cuts and bills that they say pass the buck and put more burdens on counties.

From greenways to ball fields, state cuts could sideline local recreation wish list

Statewide parks and recreation funding is clashing with fiscal austerity in the current state budget process, in a showdown that has environmentalists and local governments bracing for the worst.

Sylva faces tough budget choices

Sylva town officials are staring down three unsightly options to balance the upcoming year’s budget: tax increases, budget cuts or both.

 

None of the choices have much appeal to board members, but it’s understood that something must be done to alleviate the town’s budget woes. Sylva’s government is carrying a $193,000 budget deficit going into the next fiscal year.

Swain school leaders set bar low on budget

Despite a big wish list, Swain County school leaders won’t be asking the county for more money next year.

Swain school officials instead have posed a quite modest request — just don’t cut our budget. 

Nonprofits struggle to win back funding

It’s been five years since the recession hit, and nonprofits in Haywood County are still struggling to get by after losing their monetary contributions from the county.

Before the recession hit, Haywood County gave about $472,000 to nonprofits, among them the Good Samaritan Clinic, the Haywood County Fairgrounds, the Haywood County Arts Council, Folkmoot USA, Kids Advocacy Resource Effort and REACH, a domestic violence agency. 

With sequestration threat looming, Eastern Band preps for the worst

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians could see an estimated $2.2 million evaporate from its budget in March if Congress does not reach an agreement on the federal budget and mandatory, across-the-board cuts of 5.1 percent known as sequestration kick in.

The threat of sequestration was supposed to be an incentive for divisive lawmakers to come to an agreement on where to rein in spending and where to raise additional revenue.

Batter up: Macon weighs costs and benefits of proposed recreation complex

A Macon County commissioner, who prides himself on fiscal conservatism, has been staking out his positions lately.

After questioning the virtue of pay raises for Macon County workers two weeks ago, Commissioner Ron Haven has turned his attention to another proposed outlet of government spending: a large sports complex being considered outside of Franklin.

Macon ponders raises and salary realignments for county workers

Proposed pay raises for county workers in Macon has prompted skepticism from at least two of the five county commissioners, who are asking if now is the right time for that.

The proposed pay raise would boost the salaries of all county government employees. The total plan would cost the county an estimated $750,000 per year and help all the county’s employees, more than 400 in all.

Despite student pleas, WCU hikes tuition again

Western Carolina University’s Board of Trustees approved an 8 percent increase in tuition next academic year — much to the vexation of its student body.

“We came in here, and it was not an easy decision,” said Trustee Grace Battle. “I think everybody in here struggled.”

Professors struggle with increased class sizes

fr wcuclassesWhile Western Carolina University’s budgets have been shrinking in recent years, its class sizes have been growing.

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