Pinehurst Council Supports Village Green Plan
The Pinehurst Village Council has voted to support the concept for the restoration and enhancement of Village Center.
Also during its meeting Tuesday, the council unanimously adopted a $15.9 million budget for 2011-2012 that maintains the current property tax rate without cutting staff or services.
The proposed Village Green enhancement plan contains three parts.
One is a donation of land to the Given Memorial Library and Tufts Archives that will allow for possible expansion. The second piece is a relocation and slight expansion of the sand parking lot, and the third is for streetscape improvements in downtown.
A delegation is scheduled to go to Atlanta on June 30 to discuss the proposal with representatives of the National Park Service.
The Park Service has previously sent letters to the village expressing concern that too many changes to the Village Green could threaten the village’s National Historic Landmark status.
Representatives for the proposed enhancement have downplayed those letters, saying that the plan is “restorative” and that the letters were in response to only partial information about the proposal.
In recent weeks the complete proposal has been forwarded to Park Service officials.
The council has been supportive of the plan but had wanted to get input from residents before moving forward.
The village held several meetings for residents to provide information on the proposed plan and gather feedback. One form of feedback was a survey. Village staff presented results from the survey, which supported the proposed plan.
The council also discussed the development review process with consultant Craig Lewis of The Lawrence Group, which has previously reviewed the process for the village.
The council also decided not to accept a grant for improvements for the recycling yard.
The vote on the budget followed a public hearing. The budget maintains the current tax rate of of 28 cent per $100 property valuation.
It also includes 3.2 fewer full-time employees, though it doesn’t eliminate any additional positions. Merit pay raises averaging 2 percent are provided for employees in the budget.
The total budget is about 0.7 percent less than the current year. It also maintains a general fund balance of 39 percent of expected 2011-12 expenditures.
When Village Manager Andy Wilkison presented the proposal in April, he said he was pleased with the way the budget turned out.
Mayor Ginsey Fallon has called the budget “outstanding.”
The budget includes capital outlays of $1,884,600. That is an increase of $478,000, or 34 precent, from this year. Some of the more notable items include downtown parking and streetscape improvements, additions to the village greenway system, tennis courts and other improvements at Rassie Wicker Park.
Contact Tom Embrey at email@example.com.
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