SEVIERVILLE — There will be a lot of items to consider when the Sevier County Budget Committee meets at 4 p.m. Monday to review the 2022-23 budget for the first time.
The budget committee will review budgets from the Sevier County Board of Education and highway department, but typically the most attention goes to the general fund, which includes the budget for all other elected offices in the county including the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office and courts.
This year they’ll be looking at multiple capital projects that have been planned for some time as well as 8% raises for employees, but the proposed tax rate will remain stable, Vice Mayor Bryan McCarter said.
“We are planning to begin construction of the new courts building, a new Kodak library, a new Emergency Management facility, and in conjunction with the cities a new animal care facility,” he said.
The county created new court fees several years ago to begin setting aside money for the new courts facility, which is planned for property on Commerce Street across from the Sevier County Courthouse.
They are planning to use funds from the American Recovery Plan to help cover some of the new building costs.
They have several other projects as well, as they are looking to replace heating and air units in several county buildings, renovating and expanding the Seymour station for Sevier County Ambulance Service, and ongoing improvements to the convenience centers.
“To say it’s going to be a busy year is an understatement,” McCarter said.
But they’ve tried to be conservative in estimating their revenues after Sevier County had a banner year in 2021.
“We have budgeted most of our large revenue lines like sales tax at a 5% reduction to current actuals to be cautious in the current economic climate,” McCarter said.
“We believe this budget will ensure we provide the needed services for our residents and the millions of visitors who travel to our area while taking a conservative approach to future economic conditions.”
The budget committee will review budgets for the highway department and Sevier County schools as well as the general fund, which covers all the other elected offices and departments.
Typically the budget committee reviews the proposals and sends a recommended budget on to the full county commission, which must approve the budget on a single reading before July 1.
The Sevier County Board of Education presented its proposed budget last month, but the budget committee has not yet voted on it.
They were the first local government agency to publicly propose an 8% pay hike for employees, which has since been proposed by the city of Pigeon Forge as well.
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