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May 25, 2022

Town Council airs proposed budget for review

By ANGELA FARR KING

The Taylorsville Town Council met at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 3, for their regular meeting. The meeting was called to order by Mayor George Holleman, who opened with a reading from the book of Psalms.

As the fiscal year 2021-22 is coming to a close, the Town Council was presented a budget for 2022-23 in the amount of $4,864,261, with a General Fund budget of $2,382,950 and an Enterprise Fund (Water and Sewer) budget of $2,481,311. This is only a slight increase from the previous budget of $4,851,814.

Town Manager David Odom explained that two of the main goals for this new budget are to:
1. Retain qualified police officers by raising the salary of new officers for the Town of Taylorsville.
2. Create a positive balance in the Water and Sewer Fund that has lost revenue over the past two years due to the loss of revenue from the town’s number one customer, the Alexander Correctional Institution (state prison). The prison’s inmate population was reduced during and since the pandemic began, resulting in lower usage of Town water and sewer.

There is no raise in property taxes planned for this budget. There will be a slight increase to customers in their monthly water and sewer bills in an approximate amount of $11.00 per month on average.

There will be two public hearings held to review the budget before the final vote for approval.

Zachary Price petitioned the town with a sewer tap request for the property on Shannon Park Circle in Taylorsville, Lot 1, Parcel ID # 139122. The board approved this petition unanimously.

Regarding a proposed annexation request by Jeffery and Barbra Callamore, the Council voted their approval unanimously to hold a public hearing on this matter at the next meeting on May 24. This is property located on 7th Street in Taylorsville and they plan to eventually build a home on this site.

The Council entered into a public hearing regarding the closing of one block of 2nd Street SW in Taylorsville, to be used for parking for the new Alexander Courthouse Park. During the public hearing, the board discussed the closure and Odom reported that no one had commented on this proposal from the general public after it had been advertised. The Council unanimously approved to close this section of the street. The maintenance and signage for this parking area will be taken over by Alexander County government.

During budget amendments and transfers, an amount of $5,411.86 was transferred from Federal Emergency Funds to Maintenance and Repairs. These funds were necessary to repair damage done to Urgent Care of Mountain View in Taylorsville from the massive flooding in 2020.

An adjustment was made in the American Rescue Plan (ARP) to allow for maintenance to be completed on corroded water equipment in 2023 instead of waiting until 2025.

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality offered an American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) grant in the amount of $1,205,130 for the construction of the Wastewater System Reliability Improvements Project to address reliability/capacity issues at the Paul Payne Pump Station and to replace equipment at the wastewater treatment plant. The board voted unanimously to accept this grant and to approve other budget amendments and transfers.

During staff reports, Taylorsville Police Chief Doug Bowman noted that his department had recently undergone an audit. He stated that they have not been audited for the past five or six years, partially due to COVID.

The Taylorsville Police Department received a good report after the audit on April 20th. There were no corrective actions required and no deficiencies detected. During the audit, the files of 10 random officers were selected and reviewed. All files were found in order.

During the Public Works report, Aaron Wike reported that there had been a pump station failure at the Lewittes location. There is currently a rented pump in place and there are parts ordered for repairs.

The Council then entered into a closed session regarding personnel. They plan a special called meeting scheduled for Tuesday, May 24, to hold a public hearing regarding the proposed Town budget.

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