KM Herald 6-9-21

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www.KMinsure.com Volume 135 • Issue 23

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

kmherald.com • 704-484-1047

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Kings Mountain High School seniors toss their caps into the air, celebrating 13 years of hard work and study. Congratulations to the Class of 2021! See more photos on 5A. (Photo by Mark Bryson)

County Commissioners approve 3.25 cent tax cut as part of 2021-2022 fiscal year budget

Pickin’ at the Park will be held each Thursday in Patriot’s Park at 6 p.m.

Pickin’ at the Park continues Thursday By Loretta Cozart The sweet sound of acoustic music drifted through the air as the city’s first Pickin’ at the Park took place near the Gazebo in Patriots Park late Thursday afternoon. The joint venture is sponsored by City of Kings Moun-

tain and Cleveland County Music Hall of Fame and will be held each Thursday starting at 6 pm. All pickers are welcome, so dust off that banjo (guitar, fiddle, or mandolin) and join other musicians for some fun on Thursday evening. This is a free event. If you don’t play and in-

strument but enjoy acoustic music, feel free to bring a chair and listen. For more information on Pickin’ At The Park, contact the City of Kings Mountain’s Special Events Department at 704-7302101, or the Cleveland County Music Hall of Fame at 704-860-4068.

Following a public hearing at its June 1 meeting, Cleveland County Board of Commissioners unanimously adopted the County’s budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year. The new budget decreases the property tax rate by 3.25 cents while maintaining, and in some cases enhancing, the services and programs available to Cleveland County’s citizens. The tax rate changes includes a 2.25 cent decrease in the County General Tax rate and a 1.00 cent decrease in the County School tax rate. “Very few local governments are in a position to enact tax rate decreases in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Chairman Doug Bridges said. “The fact that Cleveland County can do so, while continuing to provide a high level of service to our citizens, is a testament to our team’s fiscal prudence and

careful planning.” The budget process is carried out under the general direction of the Board of Commissioners. With the Board’s guidance, County staff plan for the financial management of over twenty-five County departments. This involves analyzing projected revenues from sources including property and sales taxes, state and federal funds, and grants from partner agencies. Staff then determine how the County can budget the available revenues to provide services and meet policy goals set by the Board of Commissioners. “When the COVID-19 Pandemic first hit, our team immediately took a ‘ReAct/ ReBuild/ReThink’ approach to crisis management,” County Manager Brian Epley said. “This involved a total budget reset in March

of 2020. After reacting to the immediate crisis and rebuilding over the last year, the 2021-22 budget process has been an opportunity to rethink how our team can do more with less by incorporating the lessons learned during the pandemic to streamline our operations moving forward.” One example of the County doing more with less has been its focus on lean operations. “We have been intentionally focused on right-sizing county government,” Commissioner Johnny Hutchins said. “This is evidenced by the budget having grown only a little over 6 percent since 2015.” The 2021-22 budget also continues the trend of providing competitive wages for County employees. “As commissioners we continue to See BUDGET, Page 2A

First Baptist’s Dr. Jonathan Bundon recognized for 15 years service On Sunday, May 30, First Baptist Church KM recognized Worship Pastor Dr. Jonathan Bundon for fifteen years of ministry at FBCKM. Bundon is the leader of the music programs of First Baptist, including adult praise ensembles, adult choir, instrumental and band groups, youth choir, senior adult choir and supervision of children’s music. His role of “Worship Pastor” recognizes his emphasis beyond music itself to the See BUNDON, Page 4A

Dr. Jonathan Bundon, Heather and children Blakely and Caleb. Photo by Pat Mahiney

City of Kings Mountain Mayor’s Choice winner for the June 5 LIVE at Patriots Park Cruise-In was this 1960 Edsel Ranger belonging to Steve Bland of Lincolnton NC. See more photos from the Cruise-In and Concert held at Patriot’s Park this past weekend on page 3B. Photo by Angela Padgett

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