Dare County Manager proposes $136.2M General Fund budget for FY 2024-2025

By on May 9, 2024


Dare County has released a summary of the $136,171,205 FY 2024-2025 General Fund budget proposed by Manager Bobby Outten to the Dare County Commissioners at their May 7 meeting. That proposed budget represents roughly a 4.6% increase over the $130,083,408 budget the commissioners approved for the current 2023-2024 Fiscal Year.

Here are some key points.

No property tax increase

The recommended budget includes no property tax increase, with the rate to remain at 40.05 cents per $100 of assessed value. (Example: The annual property tax for a property valued at $400,000 would be $1,602).

Largest expenditures go to public safety, education

Of the proposed $136,171,205 General Fund budget, the largest expenditures are allocated to public safety, which includes the Dare County EMS Department, Dare County Sheriff’s Office and Dare County Emergency Management Department ($43.6 million/32%); education, which includes Dare County Schools and College of The Albemarle – Dare Campus ($32 million/23.5%); as well as human services ($19.9 million/14.6%) and general government ($16.8 million/12.3%).

Dare County’s contribution to Dare County Schools for Fiscal Year 2024-2025 is proposed to increase by almost $2.5 million to a total of $30.8 million, which consists of $1.6 million in increased pay supplements.

This additional amount is expected to place Dare County Schools in the top 20% of North Carolina school systems for pay supplements as well as within the top two county school systems in North Carolina in local funding per pupil.

Four new full-time positions proposed, 4% COLA pay adjustment

The proposed budget provides funding for the addition of four new full-time positions and one part-time position, as well as various reclassifications and certification pay.

The new positions included in the recommended budget include the addition of an infrastructure and security administrator position in Information Technology, a leisure activities specialist position for the Dare County Parks & Recreation Department’s Roanoke Island Division, an administrative assistant position for the Dare County Sheriff’s Office, a wastewater treatment plant operator position for the Dare County Water Department and a part-time library assistant position for the Dare County Library.

Also included is a 4% cost of living pay adjustment for full-time and part-time benefits-eligible county employees.

Three volunteer fire departments propose tax rate increases

Tax rates are proposed by the volunteer fire departments that provide fire protection in the fire districts located throughout the unincorporated areas of the county. This tax is included on a property owner’s annual property tax bill as a separate line item and is based on the rate for the fire district in which the property is located.

Three volunteer fire department tax districts in Dare County have requested tax rate increases in the proposed budget in order to meet the needs of their all-volunteer departments and the residents and visitors for which they provide fire protection.

The proposed tax rate increases per $100 of assessed property value are as follows:  

Rodanthe-Waves-Salvo: $0.0955 (an increase of 2 cents from $0.0755)

Martin’s Point: $0.0523 (an increase of 0.39 cents from $0.0484)

Roanoke Island: $0.0421 (an increase of 0.55 cents from $0.0366)

(Example: A rate increase of 2 cents per $100 of assessed property value on a $400,000 property as proposed for Rodanthe-Waves-Salvo would result in an annual increase of $800.

Proposed 5% increase for water customers in unincorporated Dare

Based on Dare County’s Fiscal Year 2025 operations and maintenance (O&M) and capital budgets, the rate study recommends the county implement a 5% rate increase for Fiscal Year 2025 for both volumetric charges—usage/consumption charges that are over the 3,000 gallons allotted with the base rate—and base charges, which are fixed fees that cover the costs associated with providing water service, such as maintaining infrastructure and administrative costs, regardless of the amount of water consumption.

The 5% increase is included for all water customers in the unincorporated areas of Dare County and is due to several factors, including infrastructure improvements and technological upgrades, as well as rising operational expenses, increasing utilities, production costs and system maintenance. These improvements are necessary to meet regulatory standards and are essential for maintaining the high quality and reliability of water services in Dare County.

The average quarterly residential water bill for a one- to three-person household in the unincorporated areas of Dare County ranges from $42.59 to $70, which would therefore increase the quarterly bill by $2.13 and $3.50, respectively.

The average quarterly residential water bill for a three- to five-person household in the unincorporated areas of Dare County ranges from $70 to $120, which would increase by $3.50 and $6, respectively.

Public hearing on proposed budget scheduled for June 3

The Dare County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing for the proposed budget during the board’s meeting that will be held at 9 a.m. on Monday, June 3, at the Dare County Administration Building, which is located at 954 Marshall C. Collins Drive in Manteo.

In-person comments on the proposed budget will be accepted during the public hearing held in Manteo, as well as the Fessenden Center Annex, which is located at 47013 Buxton Back Road in Buxton.

To view the complete proposed budget—including the manager’s letter to the Dare County Board of Commissioners that includes highlights of all proposed changes—please visit DareNC.gov/Finance.


Barnhill Building Group has been selected as the Construction Manager @ Risk by the College of the Albemarle and is seeking to pre-qualify construction trade contractors to submit bids for the furnishing labor, materials, equipment, and tools for the new College of The Albemarle – Allied Health Sciences Simulation Lab (COA Health Sciences) located in Elizabeth City, NC. Please note: Only subcontractors who have been prequalified by Barnhill will be able to submit a Bid.

The project consists of the new construction of a 38,000-sf, 2-story expansion to the existing Owens Health Sciences Center and will house classrooms, labs, and a simulation lab. The site is just over just over 4.5 acres and is located on an active campus. This new construction will be a steel structure with a brick and metal panel veneer, curtainwall, and storefront glazing with a PVC roof membrane.

Principal trade and specialty contractors are solicited for the following Bid Packages:

BP0100: General Trades

BP0105: Final Cleaning

BP0390: Turnkey Concrete

BP0400: Turnkey Masonry

BP0500: Structural Steel & Misc. Steel

BP0740: Roofing

BP0750: Metal Panels

BP0790: Caulking / Caulking

BP0800: Turnkey Doors/Frames/Hardware

BP0840: Glass & Glazing

BP0925: Drywall

BP0960: Resilient Flooring

BP0980: Acoustical Ceilings

BP0990: Painting & Wallcovering

BP1005: Toilet Specialties / Accessories / Division 10

BP1010: Signage

BP1098: Demountable Partitions

BP1230: Finish Carpentry and Casework

BP1250: Window Treatment

BP1400: Elevators

BP2100: Fire Protection

BP2200: Plumbing

BP2300: HVAC

BP2600: Turnkey Electrical

BP3100: Turnkey Sitework

BP3290: Landscaping

Packages may be added and/or deleted at the discretion of the Construction Manager. Historically underutilized business firms are encouraged to complete participation submittals.

HUB/MWBE OUTREACH MEETING: Barnhill Building Group will be conducting a HUB/MWBE Informational Session. You are encouraged to attend the following session to learn more about project participation opportunities available to you. These seminars will help to: Learn about project and scope; Inform and train Minority/HUB contractors in preparation for bidding this project; Assist in registration on the State of North Carolina Vendor link; Stimulate opportunities for Networking with other firms. Location and time TBD. Please visit our planroom at https://app.buildingconnected.com/public/54da832ce3edb5050017438b for more information.

Interested contractors should submit their completed prequalification submittals, by July 22, 2024, to Meredith Terrell at mterrell@barnhillcontracting.com or hardcopies can be mailed to Barnhill Contracting Company PO Box 31765 Raleigh, NC 27622 (4325 Pleasant Valley Road, NC 27612).