Budgets Get Attention in Whispering Pines, Aberdeen
As the end of June nears a few Moore County municipalities are finalizing and approving budgets for the coming year.
Whispering Pines will hold a public hearing on its budget at 4 p.m. Friday at Village Hall. The council is expected to vote on the budget following the public hearing.
Municipalities must have an approved budget for the new fiscal year that begins July 1.
Aberdeen approved its budget for 2011-12 on Monday. The board of commissioners voted unanimously to approve a budget that incudes a $6 million general fund, which is slightly smaller than last year.
No one spoke in opposition to the budget, which maintains the current tax rate, but increases water and sewer rates by 5 percent. The budget also calls for a 2 percent cost-of-living adjustment for employees, something that wasn't in last year's budget.
The proposed Whispering Pines budget calls for a general fund budget of $2.87 million and maintains the current tax rate without eliminating any current staff positions.
The proposed budget includes money for a new pumper truck for the fire department and overall is about $600,000 more than last year.
“The big part of that increase is $400,000 for a new fire truck,” said Sue Shuster, assistant village manager and finance director.
The new budget proposal maintains the current tax rate of 37 cents per $100 of valuation. Five cents of that 37 cents goes to a special fund for lakes and dams that was set up last year.
Another increase in this year’s budget is an additional $17,350 to $279,000 for the village’s garbage collection contract.
“That is something I don't think the residents ever realize,” Shuster said. “We don't bill a separate charge for garbage services. It is paid by the residents’ tax dollars.”
Shuster said this year’s budget process was a bit easier than previous years thanks to a capital improvements plan set up by the village staff to identify larger expense needs for the coming year.
In addition to the money for the fire truck, this year’s budget includes $25,000 for the village to hire a consultant to develop an open space/recreation master plan and $50,000 for preliminary plans for the Spring Valley Dam reconstruction.
Other than those items, Schuster said this year’s budget for the departments were “right in line with last year.”
The budget also includes a merit raise of up to 2 percent for village employees. There will be no increase or elimination of village staff.
“That (merit raise) was not in last year,” Shuster said. “Last year the employees got a one-time bonus in March.”
A copy of the budget is available at village hall, 10 Pine Ridge Drive.
Contact Tom Embrey by email at email@example.com.
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