With the Northampton County Board of Supervisors elbow deep in budget negotiations, the board held a work session to gather budget requests from organizations, and to gauge budgetary needs for the 2017-2018 fiscal year.
School Superintendent Eddie Lawrence reported on Northampton Public Schools. According to Lawrence, enrollment has increased, up to 1575, however this increase puts more pressure on the school system, and requires more resources such as teachers, supplies and space. Another 2% step raise for teachers has been requested by the County School Board.
Lawrence argued that state and federal aid has dropped off in recent years and this has made it hard for the school system to retain teachers and provide adequate services. All toll, the county school system is looking for an overall increase in funding of close to 2%.
David Long of the Eastern Shore RC&D requested funds for their programs such as Eastern Shore Watersheds Roundtable, local water quality issues, native plants, educational outreach, and healthy communities. The ESRCD has also supported programs on specialty crops and small farmer training. They also provided hands-on workshops for local farmers interested in the construction of high tunnels to extend their growing seasons and increase their yields.
A-NDPC resource manager Shannon Alexander requested $2500 for increased groundwater monitoring of salt water intrusion in the 6 test wells in Northampton County.
The Eastern Shore Coalition Against Domestic Violence requested funding to help continue services which includes a shelter for 13 adults and 26 children. The group also provides shelter for the homeless.
The SPCA requested $1500 to support the spay/neuter program for low income residents.
The next work session on the budget is scheduled for April 24th, 2017.