After ironing out details for the 2018-19 fiscal year budget during recent work sessions, the Elkin Board of Commissioners approved the recommended budget, with an increase in water rates, Monday night.
John Holcomb, finance officer for the town, presented the budget ordinance, highlighting a number of points in the budget. Those included designating $134,402 in fund balance to cover a loss in the general fund, with the upcoming year being the sixth year the town hasn’t increased its property tax rate of 55 cents per $100 valuation.
Other highlights in the general fund include a two-percent base compensation increase for town employees, and a one-percent merit-based increase; $50,000 to fund a town master plan based on the strategic plan presented earlier in the year; and no funding designated for a proposed shell building to boost economic development through recruitment of industry, instead waiting until construction might occur.
In the water fund, the town is implementing a $500 hydrant and meter tampering fee as well as the option to pursue legal avenues against those who violate the town rules.
The water rates will increase from $15.50 to $16.50 for the base minimum bill of 2,000 gallons and the volumetric rate of 1,000 gallons over that base minimum will increase to $7 from $6. The water fund will have a revenue gain of $272,735 in the coming fiscal year, Holcomb said.
The Municipal Service District tax rate will remain at 10 cents per $100 valuation, giving that fund $14,500 in revenue.
There were no speakers during the public hearing on the budget, and the board, which had excused Commissioner Terry Kennedy from attendance, approved the budget 4-0.
Rezoned property approved for subdivision
North Carolina’s native muscadine grapes is being recognized, as property on Poplar Springs Road owned by Richard Barnes was approved for rezoning and a subdivision to be named Scuppernong Hill Monday.
The 25.51 acres was initially zoned R-8 residential, but Monday the commissioners approved its change to R-20. The property, while not in the town limits, does sit within the one-mile extraterritorial jurisdiction which falls under the town’s planning and zoning laws, explained George Crater, planning director for Elkin.
A public hearing was held on the rezoning, without anyone speaking out.
The planning board had unanimously voted to recommend the rezoning, and the commissioners followed suit, agreeing that the rezoning application was consistent with the town’s land-use plan and is reasonable and in the public interest.
In separate action, the board approved the final plans to create a subdivision on the property, which is past the Brookside Village condominiums on Poplar Springs Road and across from Old Quarry Road.
The subdivision plans allow for 17 individual lots on the property, which have all been tested and approved for well and septic by the county, Crater reported.
Also, the state Department of Transportation has approved the plans for traffic entry into the subdivision, he said.
In addition, during Monday’s meeting, the board gave Town Manager Brent Cornelison the authority to approve any special events applications that do not require alcohol ordinance waivers or street closures without them having to be approved at town board meetings.
The board also voted to cancel its July meeting, which is typically done following the heavy budget season requiring extra meetings.
Monday’s meeting was recessed to June 28 at noon so that the board can meet for about five minutes to approval final budget amendments for the 2017-18 fiscal year before it closes June 30 at midnight.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.