The Watauga County Commissioners are working on the upcoming 2018-2019 fiscal year budget.

The two day budget work session Wednesday and Thursday will address a number of issues, including Watauga County Schools capital needs and the Watauga Community Recreation Center.

The proposed budget contains the ad valorem tax rate of .353 cents per 100 dollar valuation. Should citizens approve the quarter cent sales tax increase on Tuesday during the primary election, the county plans to reduce that rate to .333 cents per 100 dollars.

The budget also contains funds for the Appalachian District Health Department as well as increases in the salaries of employees of the Appalachian Regional Library.

The budget will be available for public inspection at WataugaCounty.org, in the County Manager’s Office, and at the libraries in Boone, Blowing Rock, and the Western Watauga Community Center.

A public hearing on the budget will be May 15th at 5:30 to allow citizen comment.

During Tuesday's meeting, Commissioners approved a request from Planning and Inspections Director Joe Furman to deal with a recent stream bank failure on the New River near Brookshire Park. The request was for Brushy Fork Environmental Consulting to stabilize a portion of the bank next to the greenway where recent rains have affected the stream bank, and to reduce future damage and mitigate safety issues. Furman said by working with Brushy Fork Environmental, that is already working on another area along the stream bank, would bring a quicker fix and save money. Commissioners approved $20,000 dollars for the repair.