Jackson considers $79 million proposed budget

Note: The initial story published May 26 was based on incorrect budget documents from Jackson County that reflected a total budget of $87 million. However, the county later released corrected documents showing a total proposed budget of $78.9 million, representing a 6.27% increase over the 2020-21 adopted budget and a 2% decrease over the amended budget — not the 17.5% increase originally reported. 

Jackson County Manager Don Adams presented a proposed budget May 18 that represents a 6.27% increase in total spending over the 2020-21 adopted budget but a 2% decrease over last year's amended budget.

It would reduce the current tax rate from 38 to 36 cents per $100 of value, but most homeowners will likely receive a higher total tax bill. Due to increased values following this year’s revaluation, the revenue-neutral rate would be 34.47 cents per $100.

Funding approved for Sylva statue changes

The pedestal of the Confederate soldier statue in Sylva will get a $14,000 makeover following a 4-1 vote from the Jackson County commissioners. 

Jackson considers five additional firefighting positions

During a May 11 work session, Jackson County commissioners discussed a plan to use $400,000 from the general fund — previously allocated to the Cullowhee Volunteer Fire Department — to fund personnel and per-call pay at five other fire departments in the county. 

Jackson commissioners weigh fire funding

Jackson County leaders are considering adding a penny to the county’s tax rate to fund the Cullowhee Volunteer Fire Department’s request for eight full-time employees.

Commissioners discuss changes to Sylva statue

Eight months after voting to revamp the pedestal of the county’s controversial Civil War monument, Jackson County commissioners got their first look at what the new version might look like. 

Sylva denies one apartment application, approves another

Despite gusting winds and a temperature of 42 degrees at the time the three-hour meeting began — it was 37 degrees and felt like 30 by its 8 p.m. conclusion — more than 50 people bundled up to attend an outdoor hearing on the fate of two Sylva apartment projects Thursday, April 1. 

New tax values, fire protection costs drive rate discussion

With the 2021 property revaluation now complete, Jackson County’s taxable value will rise nearly 20 percent over the value established during the last valuation in 2016 and 12.1 percent over the value for the current fiscal year, the last using 2016 valuations. 

New leadership for Jackson County Schools

Jackson County Schools Board of Education has selected Dr. Dana Ayers as its new superintendent beginning June 1. 

When the job can’t stop: Trash collection picked up during the pandemic

When meetings moved to Zoom and schools shut down last March, Zach Sorrells kept on reporting to work. As a maintenance worker with the Town of Sylva, he’s responsible for jobs that simply must get done, pandemic or no — like trash collection, for instance.

HERE in Jackson plans considers homeless shelter project

For more than a decade, groups serving Jackson County’s homeless population have done so on a shoestring and a thin supply of hotel rooms, but the nonprofit currently providing homeless services says the time has come for a dedicated shelter facility. 

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