Local Government
Pipeline Manufacturer To Create 44 Jobs In Columbus County PDF Print E-mail
Local Government
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 20 July 2021 10:30
Pipeline Plastics Holdings, LLC, a leading manufacturer of high-performance industrial pipeline systems, will create 44 new jobs in Columbus County, Governor Roy Cooper announced today. The company will invest $4.6 million in a new production facility in Fair Bluff.
 
“North Carolina’s appeal as a center for manufacturing continues to attract companies from many different industries,” said Governor Cooper. “Our focus on building a well-trained workforce, combined with North Carolina’s outstanding transportation networks and East Coast market access, offers companies like Pipeline Plastics the right ingredients for success.”
 
Pipeline Plastics specializes in engineered solid wall polyethylene pipe, with a size range up to 65” diameter utilized in all aspects of infrastructure construction. The company is a recognized leader to a wide variety of end uses, from municipal water and wastewater, industrial, agriculture, irrigation, and mining, to energy and natural gas distribution. With three existing production plants in Texas and South Dakota, the new facility in Fair Bluff will enable the company to expand its geographical presence on the East Coast.
 
“We are excited to bring our culture, reputation, and methodology as one of the safest, sustainable, and most efficient companies in the industry,” said Mike Leathers, President & COO, Pipeline Plastics. “This facility will not only create jobs and careers for this location, but be a significant multiplier for the local economy, from jobs to suppliers and transportation.”
 
“We welcome Pipeline Plastics to North Carolina’s growing portfolio of manufacturing companies,” said North Carolina Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders. “Our state remains committed to delivering the skilled workers manufacturers need, through the programs and services of the NCWorks system, one of the best workforce development systems in the country.”
 
The company’s new jobs will yield an average salary above the Columbus County average wage of $35,138. Once the projects’ new jobs are in place, the local region will benefit from a nearly $1.6 million payroll impact in the community, each and every year.
 
A performance-based grant of $125,000 from the One North Carolina Fund will help facilitate Pipeline Plastics’ expansion in Columbus County. The OneNC Fund provides financial assistance to local governments to help attract economic investment and to create jobs. Companies receive no money upfront and must meet job creation and capital investment targets to qualify for payment. All OneNC grants require a matching grant from local governments and any award is contingent upon that condition being met.
 
Partnering with the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina on this project were the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Community College System, Duke Energy, CSX Railroad, the RJ Corman Railroad Company, Southeastern Community College, the Columbus Jobs Foundation, the Columbus County Board of Commissioners, the Town of Fair Bluff, North Carolina’s Southeast, and the Columbus County Economic Development Commission.
 
Forsyth County Accepting Rescue Plan Funds Applications PDF Print E-mail
Local Government
By Administrator   
Monday, 19 July 2021 16:57

Forsyth County Government is now accepting applications for American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds and will hold its first virtual meeting on the application process on July 21.

Organizations can apply for ARPA funds for qualifying project through the county’s website, www.forsyth.cc.  The application deadline is August 27 at 5 p.m. Eligible proposals will be reviewed by staff and presented to the Forsyth County commissioners in September/October for funding consideration.

County staff will also hold a series of virtual meetings to discuss the funding and application process. The first will be held Wednesday, July 21, at 2 pm. at https://bit.ly/ARPAmeeting.

Forsyth County is expected to receive approximately $74 million in ARPA funds, of which approximately $56 million has yet to be allocated. Based on federal guidance, the funds can be used to support Public Health’s response, replace public sector revenue loss, address negative economic impacts, for premium pay for essential workers, water and sewer infrastructure and broadband infrastructure.

The county anticipates that there will be multiple application periods, and that not all federal funding will be allocated this fall.

 
Forsyth County Passes $500 Million Budget With No Tax Increases PDF Print E-mail
Local Government
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 15 June 2021 10:27

Forsyth County commissioners unanimously approved a $500 million budget that lowers the property tax rate by 6.57 cents while maintaining services and investing in the community. 

The budget lowers the tax rate to 67.78 cents per $100 of property value, a significant reduction from the current 74.35 cent rate. This is due to the year’s strong property tax revaluation, which increased the estimated revenue from each penny of property tax from $3.7 million to $4.2 million.

Education remains the county’s largest service area in terms of expenditures, with 32 percent, or $162.2 million, of the General Fund budget. Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools receives 92 percent of those funds, including $17.6 million for local teacher supplements from the ¼ cent county sales tax.  In addition to the funding approved by the Board in the FY22 budget, WS/FC Schools is expected to benefit from a mid-year increase of $3 million in sales tax revenue based on continued sales tax growth in the current fiscal year..  Education bond projects, like building and renovating schools, also take up most of the general fund budget devoted to debt service.

New spending in the budget included $1.2 million to improve Emergency Medical Services response time by adding new positions, reclassifying others, and purchasing two new ambulances. Public Health received $110,000 for a Neighborhood Equity Atlas that will map out inequality in the county and measure change in these areas to highlight successful programs and guide the decision making process for county departments and other organizations.

The adopted budget also includes $300,000 to finish the first floor buildout at Social Services that’s part of its long-term goal of streamlining intake and eligibility processes. Forsyth Tech received $169,028 for three additional security officersParks will be able to complete a greenway at Triad Park based on additional funding provided by the Board of Commissioners. The Sheriff was provided $100,000 for an additional intelligence specialist for the Real Time Intelligence Center. In addition to the Neighborhood Equity Atlas, Public Health received $60,216 for a men’s health coordinator and  additional resources were provided to Human Resources for marketing and recruitment, while the Commissioners also funded a citizen survey of county services, a contract for the legislative servicesand an internship program with two part-time positions in the commissioners and manager’s office.

For county employees, the budget has a 1-4 percent merit increase, market rate adjustments for several positions, and will increase the county’s minimum pay to $9.86.

The budget includespecial appropriations for local non-profits with several non-profits receiving increases in funding, including Senior Services, Shepard’s Center, Center for Creative Economy, Arts Council and Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods. The Winston-Salem Theater Alliance and a request from The Conservation Fund to help preserve the historic Shallow Ford site both received new funding. Other special appropriations included Kaleideum, National Black Theatre Festival, HARRY Veterans Services, Experiment in Self-Reliance and Children’s Law Center, along with the county’s contribution to TransAid transportation for residents with disabilities.

The commissioners will take another look at special appropriation requests in the next few months when they consider how to allocate American Rescue Plan Act funding after they’ve received more guidance from the U.S. Treasury DepartmentThis will include several requests that didn’t receive funding in the adopted budget. County staff will also be developing and coordinating a process to accept new proposals for this funding. Commissioners encourage applicants to focus on Qualified Census Tract with the hope that 80 percent of the funds available will reach the most marginalized populations.

The budget also set the tax rates for the volunteer fire departments serving the rural areas and the County-wide fire tax for the supplement staffing program.  The rate for the supplemental staffing program was reduced from .73 to .39 cents per $100 valuation due to the revaluation and the strong sales tax revenue. 

All the comissioners praised the budget staff for their hard work in preparing the budget during this tumultuous time.

The final, approved budget, which goes into effect on July 1, will be available online by the end of the month.

 

 
Forsyth County CFO To Retire After 47 Years Of Service PDF Print E-mail
Local Government
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 15 June 2021 10:14
Paul Fulton, Jr. will be retiring as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for Forsyth County at the end of the year, after 47 years of service. 

 

Fulton’s retirement will be effective Dec. 31, and the county will be conducting a nationwide search for its next CFO.  Fulton  is the head of the county’s Finance Department, which manages the county’s revenues, payments, investments, payroll, fixed assets, debt, financial record keeping, risk management and internal and external audits. “I have enjoyed the work and the people I have had the privilege to work with.” said Fulton. “I am grateful for the many opportunities afforded me during my career and for the many past and current Finance Department employees and their exemplary service and support.” 
 
Under Fulton’s leadership, Forsyth County became the first county in North Carolina to receive a AAA credit rating from all three rating agencies in 1996. It has maintained that rating ever since.  The Finance Department’s independently audited Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the county has won a national Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting every year since 1984. 
 
County Manager Dudley Watts said the recent hard work of Fulton and his staff will save the county, and its taxpayers, a lot of money for years to come. “Under Paul’s leadership over the last year, the County has taken advantage of the historically low interest rates and greatly reduced the tax burden,” said Watts. “Paul has positioned the County extremely well and it will benefit all taxpayers for the next 20 years. ”  
 
Fulton received the Outstanding North Carolina County Finance Officer Award from the NC Association of County Commissioners in 1999, the Outstanding Member in Government Award from the NC Association of Certified Public Accountants in 2008 and the CFO of the Year from Triad Business Journal in 2010. Fulton is a South Carolina native who moved to Winston-Salem in 1961. He attended Elon College where he earned B.A. degrees in Accounting and Business Administration in 1971. He then worked as a controller for a small firm before joining Forsyth County in 1974 as an internal auditor. 
 
He continued his education as he worked, graduating from UNC Chapel Hill School of Government County Administration Program in 1975. He received his M.B.A. with Concentration in Financial Management from UNC Greensboro in 1977. Fulton became assistant finance director for Forsyth County in 1976 and became Chief Financial Officer in 1988.  
Fulton has certifications as a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Local Government Finance Officer, Certified Government Financial Manager from the Association of Government Accountants, Certified Public Finance Officer from the Government Finance Officers Association and Chartered Global Management Accountant from the American Institute of CPAs. 
Fulton is the NACo State Representative for the National Association of County Treasurers and Finance Officers, and a state representative for the Government Finance Officers Association. He is a past president of the NC Association of County Finance Officers in 1998, which, under his leadership, merged with the NC Government Finance Officers Association, which he also served as president of in 2010. He is also a past director of the Piedmont/Winston-Salem Chapter of the Institute of Management Accountants. 
 
His other professional associations include American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, NC Association of Certified Public Accountants and the Association of Government Accountants. He’s also served on NCACC committees, NC State Treasurer’s Public Finance Advisory Committee, and as a Governor’s appointee to the North Carolina State Bar Council and its Grievance Committee. 
 
County Manager Watts stated,  “I appreciate Paul’s willingness to work through the CFO transition and helping with two significant efforts – the American Recovery Plan compliance and the information system overhaul that is currently underway. Paul has dedicated his professional career to Forsyth County, and we are better because of his service.” 
 
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