by Keith T. Barber and Jordan Green

Items from across the Triad and beyond by Jordan Green and Keith T. Barber

Perdue signs off on more than $1 billion in budget cuts

Gov. Beverly Perdue signed a state budget that includes more than $1 billion in spending cuts on June 30. Perdue’s signing marked the first time in seven years that the General Assembly and the governor’s office made the July 1 deadline for delivering a budget as mandated by state law. The cuts represent a 12 percent decrease in the state budget and the elimination of 3,500 state jobs. still, Perdue touted the 2010-11 fiscal year budget as an instrument that eliminates waste while investing in job growth, education and greater governmental efficiency.

“I signed a budget today that does more with less, but still keeps North Carolina moving forward toward a full economic recovery,” the governor said in a formal statement. “This year was tough, but next year will be tougher.”

Despite the drastic spending cuts, Perdue proclaimed that this year’s budget should create 20,000 jobs over the next three years. A few highlights: the budget allocates $10 million for diagnostic assessment tools for teachers, and includes an initiative to expand enrollment at the state’s community colleges and universities. The budget cuts Medicaid spending on prison inmates by more than $20 million, and focuses on other efficiency measures to save the state an additional $15 million in Medicaid spending annually. The budget restores $40 million to community health programs, offers $34 million in tax relief for those receiving unemployment insurance, and invests millions in the latest technology for law enforcement and first responder agencies. — KTB

neighbors oPPose commercial redeveloPment near friendly

Signs protesting a proposed rezoning at the southwest corner of Friendly Avenue and Holden Road have been proliferating in the vicinity of the Friendly Center. Real estate lawyer Henry Isaacson is requesting the Greensboro Zoning Commission’s approval of an amendment that would allow a developer to replace a single-family house on the 2.6-acre lot with a drive-thru bank, drive-thru pharmacy and medical-dental office building.

Staff recommends denial of the request, with the caveat that eliminating drive-thru facilities would help make the plan acceptable.

The zoning commission will hear the request at its next meeting on June 12 at 5:30 p.m..

The zoning commission will also hear a request to rezone 145 acres east of the urban loop from county agricultural to conditional district-corporate park. Although American express is not named in the request, the global credit-card company is almost certainly the entity that will eventually occupy the tract, which is in the pipeline for satellite annexation to the city. The staff report notes that “the applicant intends to develop this site as a corporate data center.” The applicants are Burch Creek Creek Farm llC and land Port Investments llC, two real estate development companies solely controlled by developer Roy Carroll. staff recommends approval of the request. — JG

Wikipedia: Scuttlebutt in slang usage means rumour or gossip, deriving from the nautical term for the cask used to serve water.