City Council Releases Proposed Budget for Consideration – The Taylorsville Times

By ANGELA FARR KING

The Taylorsville City Council met at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 3 for their regular meeting. The meeting was opened by Mayor George Holleman, who opened with a reading from the book of Psalms.

As the 2021-22 fiscal year draws to a close, City Council was presented with a budget for 2022-23 in the amount of $4,864,261, with a general fund budget of $2,382,950 and a budget from the enterprise fund (water and sewer) of $2,481,311. This is only a slight increase from the previous budget of $4,851,814.

City Manager David Odom explained that two of the main objectives of this new budget are:
1. Retain qualified police officers by increasing the salaries of new City of Taylorsville officers.
2. Create a positive balance in the Water and Sewer Fund which has lost revenue over the past two years due to loss of revenue from the city’s number one customer, Alexander Correctional Institution ‘State). The jail’s inmate population has been reduced during and since the start of the pandemic, which has led to a drop in the city’s water and sewer usage.

No increase in property taxes is planned in this budget. There will be a slight increase for customers in their monthly water and sewer bills of approximately $11.00 per month on average.

There will be two public hearings to review the budget before the final vote for approval.

Zachary Price petitioned the city with a request for a sewer tap for the Shannon Park Circle property in Taylorsville, Lot 1, Parcel ID number 139122. Council approved this petition unanimously.

Regarding an annexation request proposed by Jeffery and Barbra Callamore, the Board voted unanimously to approve to hold a public hearing on this matter at the next meeting on May 24. This is a property on 7th Street in Taylorsville and they plan to eventually build a house on this site.

Council held a public hearing regarding the closure of a block of 2nd Street SW in Taylorsville, which will be used for parking the new Alexander Courthouse Park. During the public hearing, council discussed the closure and Odom reported that no one commented on this proposal from the general public after it was announced. Council unanimously approved the closure of this section of the street. Maintenance and signage of this parking area will be supported by the Alexander County government.

During budget changes and transfers, an amount of $5,411.86 was transferred from the Federal Emergency Fund to maintenance and repairs. These funds were needed to repair damage to Mountain View Emergency Care in Taylorsville from massive flooding in 2020.

An adjustment was made to the US Rescue Plan (ARP) to allow maintenance of corroded water equipment to be completed in 2023 instead of waiting until 2025.

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality has provided an American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) grant in the amount of $1,205,130 for the construction of the system reliability improvement project to resolve reliability/capacity issues at the Paul Payne pumping station and to replace equipment at the sewage treatment plant. The Board voted unanimously to accept this grant and to approve other amendments and budget transfers.

During staff reports, Taylorsville Police Chief Doug Bowman noted that his department had recently been audited. He said they hadn’t been audited for the last five or six years, partly because of COVID.

The Taylorsville Police Department received a good report after the April 20 audit. No corrective action was required and no deficiencies were detected. During the audit, the files of 10 randomly selected officers were selected and reviewed. All files were found in order.

During the Public Works report, Aaron Wike reported that there had been a pump station failure at the Lewittes location. There is currently a rented pump in place and there are parts ordered for repairs.

Council then held an in camera session regarding staff. They are planning a special convened meeting on Tuesday, May 24 to hold a public hearing regarding the City’s proposed budget.

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