Aberdeen Approves Budget
The Aberdeen Board of Commissioners approved the town’s budget for the next fiscal year Monday during a special meeting.
The $6 million general fund budget will continue to cover the town’s current services over the next year, but it also presents conservative appropriations for the operating costs of the town’s departments, Town Manager Bill Zell said.
Zell has told the board that he intends to monitor the town’s incoming revenues carefully over the next year to make sure that money for line items will be available. Town departments have also been instructed to spend wisely with their allocations.
With the new budget, the board hopes to begin projects that will upgrade the town’s facilities over the next year.
One project plans to turn Rays Mill Pond into a new town park. The project would be funded by a $255,000 Parks and Recreation Trust Fund grant that the town hopes to receive over the next year.
If the town receives the grant, the money will go toward various improvements to the property, such as draining and dredging the lake, making repairs to the dam and spillway and making repairs to the property’s two buildings that will be an environmental education center.
While the budget includes normal operational funding for the town’s facilities, the town also hopes to begin a expansion project at the Aberdeen Fire Station, with funds that have been placed in a separate project fund.
The town expects construction bids for the project to be submitted in July, and the Board of Commissioners will determine whether or not to begin the project this year after assessing them.
The town has also been talking to the U.S. Department of Agriculture about potentially receiving a $200,000 grant to help fund the project.
The fire station expansion project would add 4,100 square feet to the existing building along the side that borders Peach Street. The plan include 600 square feet of attic space for storage, as well as space for an emergency call center, offices, living quarters, a workout area, a new kitchen and a new conference room.
The water and sewer fund’s budget includes a 5 percent rate increase for water and sewer services this year. The town chose to increase the rates in order to cover the cost of a $32 million expansion of the Addor wastewater treatment plant.
The plant is increasing its capacity from 6.7 million gallons per day to 10 million gallons per day and has since increased its cost of processing to fund the expansion.
During the meeting, the board also approved a budget amendment for the Bethune Street redevelopment project, which will be funded by an $850,000 community block development grant the town received in 2008.
The grant funds street improvements, the installation of water and sewer lines and housing improvements along the street.
Ray Manieri, of All American Associates, proposed that $120,257 allocated for other line items, such as demolition, land acquisition and sewer, be re-appropriated for housing rehabilitation.
Manieri added that Habitat for Humanity of the N.C. Sandhills has agreed to contribute some money toward land acquisition so that the town’s current investment in the project stays the same.
Besides improvements to water, sewer and the street, the project includes the construction of six Habitat for Humanity homes and rehabilitates five existing homes under the new proposed budget. Five new homes are also included in the project, but their construction is not funded by the grant.
The board also approved the purchase of two lots on the street and approved applications for rehabilitation for three homes located on the street.
The next board meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Aug. 9 at the Robert N. Page Municipal Building.
Contact Hannah Sharpe by e-mail at email@example.com.
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