Many questioning Wake County budget cuts

June 7, 2010 9:03:25 PM PDT
Some local farmers are concerned that budget cuts in Wake County government could put drinking water at risk.They were just one group addressing county commissioners on Monday over proposed cuts.

The concerns ranged from cuts to Human Services to Soil and Conservation.

One farmer gave each commissioner a pin that read "no farm, no food," reminding them of the important role farmers play in day-to-day lives.

The conservationists who make sure they're using the proper pesticides and controlling runoff are just as important, farmers say. Hwoever, now one of only three in the county may be cut.

"We feel it's going to be extremely difficult to deliver protection that's needed for water quality if we lose one conservationist," said Dale Threatt-Taylor with Wake Soil and Water.

"Everything in this area goes to the Neuse River," Knightdale farmer Fred Puryear said. "It is a drinking source. If nobody's there to provide information and education, then it's a free for all. You'll have back to the way it was in the 50's a lot of soil erosion, sediment in the water, a lot more costs so far as filtering this out for drinkability."

During the public hearing on the county budget, one man asked commissioners to be more critical of the school board's decisions and their spending.

"It seems they're not [fiscally] responsible for the funds that are allocated to them," Community Activist Eugene Weeks with Wake County Voter Education Coalition said. "The hiring of the additional legal advisor, the changing of the high school, $15 million which had already been spent."

Others were mostly grateful, because they're getting support from the county in a tight budget year.

The people who were most grateful were organizations who help the poor, hungry and homeless.

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