Macon County Schools are facing a $2 million budget shortfall and are hoping the county will come to the rescue.

That leaves county commissioners with a difficult decision: inject substantial amounts of money into the school system or force the school board to make difficult cuts.

fr needmoreThe state fund that helped conserve miles of riverfront, protect thousands of acres of undeveloped mountainsides and build countless sewer and water projects in Western North Carolina is hanging on by a thread.

If a student at Central Elementary has a particularly tough weekend at home, school counselor Leslie Smith won’t get to hear about it until four days later.

The domestic violence nonprofit REACH of Macon County is facing a more than $80,000 shortfall next year due partly to state budget cuts and partly to repercussions of stepping up to the plate when assault victims in neighboring Jackson County had no one else to turn to.

Nearly a year has passed since a domestic violence support agency in Jackson County abruptly shut down under financial duress, and so far there’s no sign on the horizon of a new nonprofit to fill the void.

In the meantime, however, the domestic violence agency in Macon County stepped in and picked up the torch on an emergency — and presumably interim — basis.

coverFor years, state funding for libraries has been on the decline. But librarians in Western North Carolina are not taking this next round lying down.

In response to a recommendation by Gov. Pat McCroy to cut the state library budget by nearly 5 percent, librarians in the Fontana Regional system put out petitions in the libraries in Macon, Swain and Jackson counties.

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.

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 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.

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. 

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