GARLAND — Commissioners are continuing finalize ways to spend money for town residents. The work comes with a challenging situation regarding emergency services.
Town Clerk and Finance Officer Pamela Cashwell is scheduled to present the budget to commissioners during a meeting scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 23, at Town Hall, 190 Church Ave., Garland. During a previous special meeting, Cashwell went over budget numbers which included more than $800,000. The 2017-2018 fiscal year is scheduled to begin July 1.
Next, a public hearing meeting will follow in June. The meeting will give residents the opportunity to comment on the budget.
“At the point when we close, you can consider the comments or anything that’s changed,” Cashwell said. “Or you can leave it as it is and adopt it.”
Garland Volunteer Fire/Rescue Department requested $25,000. But only $11,000 is listed in the budget.
Leaders from the fire department reported that they would end a contract at the end of the year, unless their request was made. To negotiate or come to an agreement, a meeting was held between Board Attorney Micheal Porter, legal council from the fire department and other officials. An official statement regarding the situation was not released, but the town’s legal council requested proof of the fire department’s “nonprofit” status.
Another emergency matter involves law enforcement.
Garland ended a contract with the Sampson County Sheriff’s Department on June 30. To keep a unit in town, deputies requested $113,000 — an increase of $25,000. Currently, more than $100,000 is budgeted for a police department in the works. This will account for about 20 percent of the budget. Fund will go towards start-up costs for the department, some of which includes equipment, salary and other needs.
During the gathering, Cashwell reported that there’s a lot of uncertainty when it comes to financial matters.
“There’s so many things up in the air, so we’re going to have to do an amendment, one way or another,” Cashwell said.