Proposed Village Budget Keeps Tax Rate Same
The village of Pinehurst's proposed $15.9 million budget for next year maintains the current tax rate without cutting services or laying off employees.
Village Manager Andy Wilkison presented the proposed budget to the council Tuesday during a work session. It maintains the current tax rate of of 28 cent per $100 property valuation. It also includes 3.2 fewer full-time employees.
The budget doesn't recommend the elimination of any additional positions. Merit pay raises averaging 2 percent are provided for employees in the budget.
The total budget is about 0.7 percent lower than the current year. It also maintains a general fund balance of 39 percent of expected 2011-12 expenditures.
"I am very pleased with the way it turned out," Wilkison said Thursday. "I think services overall are meeting expectations. I feel great that we've been able to keep the tax rate low. Our fund balance is solid, and we maintain an aggressive approach to road resurfacing."
It was a sentiment echoed by Mayor Ginsey Fallon.
"I think they (staff) have done a wonderful job considering the economy," she said.
The council held the first of its budget meetings Thursday to discuss the proposed document in more detail.
The budget must be adopted by June 30. The new fiscal year starts July 1.
Fallon said she was very pleased with the overall budget and didn't anticipate any major changes.
"My initial review of it is that it is an outstanding budget," she said.
The recommended 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.
One of the things Wilkison said he was most pleased with is the funds alloted to improvements to parks and greenway trails.
"Those are things that are right there for the citizens to use," he said. "That direct to the user and the customer."
Wilkison said the budgeting process began last fall. He credited the hard work of the entire village staff for making the process run smoothly. He said a diligent team approach to cost containment and goal prioritization allowed the village to maintain its high level of services and keep the tax rate low.
"This was not nearly as difficult a process as it could have been if we just sat around," he said, "because we've done a lot of forward planning and budgeting."
Contact Tom Embrey at email@example.com.
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