Tuesday, 19 June 2018 19:29

Council approves budget for upcoming fiscal year

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Roanoke Rapids City Council this evening unanimously approved a budget for the upcoming fiscal year which does not contain a tax increase.

The $18,052,137 financial plan remains unchanged from last week when City Manager Joseph Scherer delivered his budget message and city council held a public hearing which drew no speakers.

The budget includes a $1,500 bonus for full-time city employees and a $750 bonus for eligible permanent part-time employees. There had been discussions last month of a one-time $500 bonus as well as putting a 3 percent cost of living adjustment for employees on the table.

The Roanoke Rapids Police Department will get funding to form a proactive community engagement team focusing on drugs and gangs.

The team would also focus on violent crimes and community projects such as hosting classes and forums.

While no tax increase is proposed, there will be a $10.79 increase in the city’s solid waste fee, bringing it to $215.29 per household per year.

The city’s share of license plate fees will be increased by $5 to $11 total. This additional revenue of approximately $67,650 will be dedicated for street infrastructure maintenance.

The two new investigators for the police department are the only new positions recommended in the upcoming fiscal year.

The capital outlay budget using 5-year short-term loan proceeds is as follows:

Five police patrol cars; a radar speed monitoring trailer and Taser equipment

Two dump trucks; an asphalt patching machine; street sweeper, knuckle boom trailer; pickup and leaf machine for public works

A pickup for parks and recreation

The city’s debt service is expected to be $1,223,109 on July 1. It was $1,769,292 at the same last year.

Annual debt service payments in the proposed budget are $258,285. Debt service expenditures for the theater are anticipated to be $1,080,000, which will paid in quarterly installments.

The city’s fund balance for appropriation is $3,731,531 or 21 percent of budgeted expenditures.

Mayor Emery Doughtie said this evening he believed the 21 percent fund balance is at the low end of where the city needs to be. “We have to be mindful of the money we spend. If you look back over 10 years, we’ve paid about $16 million (in theater debt). We’re still laboring under that.”


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