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ROLESVILLE — Town Manager Kelly Arnold proposed a $9.5 million annual budget during a virtual meeting Tuesday, saying the town had grown much over the last year.
The recommended budget is 10% larger than the 2019-20 budget. The increase would allow service levels to be maintained and to grow proportionally with increases in population, Arnold said.
Property tax would be decreased to 46 cents per $100 valuation, following the revaluation; however, it is above the revenue-neutral rate of 44 cents, following county property revaluations this year. The rate would bring in $250,000 more for the town than the revenue-neutral rate would.
rnold said the tax rate would help the town fund future projects and adjust to post-COVID-19 impacts.
The budget forecasts a $172,000, or 5%, drop in revenue. It also estimated investment income at 33% less than fiscal year 2020. The budget projects a lower collection rate for both property and motor vehicle tax because of the virus, costing the town $120,000.
All fees would stay the same for the 2020-21 fiscal year. The board has expressed an interest in reviewing the code and law enforcement penalties before the 2021-20 budget cycle begins, Arnold said.
“The recommended budget continues the past and current use of contractors for many services and as a result, the number of personnel and associated expenses with operations are fewer than most comparably sized communities,” Arnold wrote in the budget message. “As the town continues to grow, continued assessment of the use of contractors compared to bringing the services in-house is essential.”
The recommended budget adds additional IT support due to a new contract with Carolinas IT, he added. Other technology upgrades are also emphasized in the budget, including new financial software, server replacement and e-crash software for the police department and new audio recording system for board meetings.
The fire department and chamber of commerce continue to receive the same funding as in the previous budget while $238,500 is budgeted for the police vehicle replacement program.
Three full-time employees are recommended in the budget. They have staggered start dates, allowing each approved position to be evaluated for funding availability. The recommended budget also implements the new pay for performance program, which allows up to a 3% increase for each employee. If revenues allow the plan to be implemented in November, the plan would add $65,000 to the base personnel salaries.
The budget will need continuous monitoring due to the effects of COVID-19, Arnold said. Monthly decisions will have to be made on project and hiring.