County faces a tough year again in 2010
In many ways, 2009 was a rough year in Guilford County government — layoffs, resignations and political struggles changed the face of government.
Looking ahead to 2010, county officials see more financial challenges…the debt that has piled up from voter-approved projects will command greater payment.
“It’s going to be another difficult year economically, and our budgets are going to reflect that,” said Melvin “Skip” Alston, chairman of the Board of Commissioners. “But I think we’re going to continue to look for more efficiencies, more ways to do more with less…”
…Commissioners Vice Chairman Steve Arnold said that given the economic situation, he agrees. Like many Americans struggling with credit card debt, the county needs the money to keep up with debt payments for various construction projects.
“We’ll have to make some of these belt-tightening moves. We’ve got a historic amount of bond debt,” Arnold said. “This huge bond package that was passed means we’ll have a tough row to hoe.”
In 2008, county voters passed bond referenda worth $651.1 million.
…In 2010, the county is expected to owe $1.1 billion in bond debt. The county will need to find $24.3 million to service that debt.
Looking at the budget and county operations, Arnold says more layoffs or furlough days are possible.
Influencing much of the decision-making this year will be elections for five of the 11 commissioners.
Greensboro News and Record, January 2, 2010