LUMBERTON — The county commissioners are expected to receive a copy of County Manager Ricky Harris’ proposed budget Monday, but the plan is not included on an agenda for their regular meeting that night.
The commissioners have tentatively planned a budget workshop for Thursday, during which discussions are expected to begin. The new budget takes effect July 1.
Board of Commissioners Chairman Noah Woods has said that the commissioners would address their pay, benefits and discretionary funds during budget time. The Robesonian last year began looking at those three components, and found that their compensation is out of step with what commissioners across the state receive. The newspaper could not find another county with a discretionary fund.
The commissioners instructed Harris and his staff to conduct a study, which Harris has said did not find significant differences with what The Robesonian has reported. But the commissioners did not act on the study, which they received at the end of November.
More recently, the commissioners have informally asked Tony Normand, the chief architect of COMtech, to make recommendations about their pay, benefits and discretionary funds. Normand has said he isn’t being paid for his recommendations, and it’s unclear whether they will be made public, but Woods has promised an open discussion about the commissioners’ compensation during the budget process.
In business Monday, the commissioners will receive an update on N.C. Forest Service programs from Adlia Strickland, the service’s ranger for Robeson County. According to an annual report provided with the board’s meeting agenda, forest management and restoration activities added more than $5.2 million to the county’s economy during 2012.
In other business, the commissioners on Monday will:
— Consider approval of a county lawn service contract. Wendy Chavis, director of the county’s Recreation Department, is recommending that a contract to provide lawn care services for her department and the Department of Social Services be given to Hunt’s Lawn Care.
— Consider a list of miscellaneous county equipment to be sold or salvaged.
— Authorize Stephanie Chavis, with the Emergency Services Department, to issue permits for fireworks celebrations held anytime through May 2014.
The meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the commissioners room of the county administration building on North Elm Street.