By MICAH HENRY
The Taylorsville Town Council met on Tuesday, June 27, 2023, and unanimously approved the 2023-24 fiscal year Town budget in the amount of $5,239,250 at a property tax rate of 35 cents per $100 valuation and collection rate per State guidelines at 97.5 percent. (This is based on a total estimated valuation of $267,010,508 in Town. Also included in the listing is a motor vehicle tax at an estimated valuation of $13,500,000.)
This reflects an increase of 6.5 percent from the 2022-23 approved budget.
Interim Town Manager Aaron Wike, in the budget ordinance document, noted that last year’s property tax rate was 40 cents per $100. Countywide property revaluation took effect this year and property values increased, which would indicate a revenue-neutral Town property tax rate of 29.5 cents per $100 for 2023-24. However, with an inflation rate exceeding 8 percent at times over the past year, the Town could not sustain the services it provides to citizens at the 29.5 cent tax rate, thus bringing about the 35 cent rate.
He noted the new budget maintains acceptable service levels, attempts to address employee retention goals, allows for continued progress, and protects the integrity and functional ability of the Town for the year.
In the budget:
The $5,239,250 total budget includes $2,606,400 General Fund expenditures and $2,632,850 in the Water & Sewer fund.
General Fund expenditures
• Police, $1,486,635.
• Streets & Sanitation, $474,135.
• Administration, $212,075.
• Contributions to outside agencies & operations and contingency, $113,000.
• Town Council, $64,550.
• Cemetery, $59,350.
• Miscellaneous gov., $44,955.
• Buildings, $33,700.
• Rental property, $12,500.
General Fund revenues
• Other taxes, $1,031,200.
• Ad valorem taxes, $949,680.
• Other revenue, $322,450.
• Sales & Services, $168,970.
• Restricted Intergovernmental Revenues, $78,350.
• Fund balance, $35,000.
• Unrestricted Intergovernmental Revenues, $10,500.
• Investment earnings, $8,800.
• Licenses & permits, $1,450.
In other Town news:
The Council unanimously adopted a resolution to set a fee schedule separate from the Town budget, so this could be amended if needed during the year.
Council members voted 5-0 to accept the bids by Marty Pennell for $110,000 each for the Town owned properties at 610 and 614 East Main Avenue (house and lot at each address), with the buyer to assume all closing costs on the purchases.
An upset bid was received on the Town properties at 36 and 46 South Center Street and the bid deadline is extended to July 12.
The Council unanimously passed a resolution to designate an official bank depository and authorized signers of checks. This sets Taylorsville Savings Bank as the Town depository and requires two of the following officers to sign checks: Finance Director, Deputy Finance Director, Town Manager, or Mayor.
Council members voted to accept a DebtBook Financial Services contract for three years for required documentation to be compliant with accounting rules GASB 87 & 96. The cost is $22,500. This was a unanimous vote.
A one-year contract to have the County provide planning services for the Town was approved unanimously. The cost is $16,000. The Town currently contracts with the County for planning.
Wike submitted an amendment to the Town’s Water AIA project with WithersRavenel. Wike said the Town’s Geographic Information System (GIS) data for the water system included more data than survey personnel first thought, so that some of the project funds can instead be used to provide hydraulic modeling and valve exercise processes in case of leaks. The amendment was unanimously approved.
The Council considered two budget amendments for the current fiscal year budget. One was for $27,595 to appropriate fund balance for the Taylorsville Fire Department match, as pledged earlier by the Council. The other amendment was for $10,000 to budget for property code violation abatement, to low bidder Jon Hayes, for cleanup of dilapidated trailers at Grover Bowman Mobile Home Park.
Town Council members unanimously approved a request by the Twelve Tribes group in Hiddenite to connect one of their properties to the Town sewer. Although Town sewer does not currently run in front of the Twelve Tribes property at 389 Hiddenite Church Road, the sewer does run across the street in front of another Twelve Tribes property at 370 Hiddenite Church Road, which is already connected to the sewer. Wike noted that the Town will simply accept wastewater from 389 Hiddenite Church Road and will not guarantee services to that property if issues arise in the future. The Twelve Tribes will be responsible for connecting 389 Hiddenite Church Road to the Town sewer, including easement, encroachment, and boring underneath the road.
In staff reports, Wike noted that the abatement mentioned above at the mobile home park began on Monday and will likely be finished by Friday. However, he said other lots on the property will probably need to undergo an abatement process next.
Wike also related that the Town’s street sweeper truck caught fire last week. It is not yet known if the insurance adjuster will declare the machine a total loss. Thankfully, no one was injured in the fire. Wike said the Town can purchase a similar used truck for between $50,000 to $60,000.
Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem Kenny Poole said during the meeting that he would not seek reelection to the Council in this year’s election. He said, “I’ve enjoyed my Town service.
I appreciate everybody up here, but it’s time to go.”
The next Town Council meeting will be in August, as the board typically does not meet in July. The meeting will be Tuesday, August 8, at 5:30 p.m. at Town Hall. This is a schedule change from August 1 to allow State Auditor staff to complete their work so that, in turn, the Town’s regular auditor can finish auditing.