ROSEBORO — With no comments made for or against the proposed budget, commissioners will now move forward with final plans that will include a tax rate decrease for town residents.
The Roseboro Town Board held a public hearing Tuesday night and scheduled a meeting to adopt the upcoming year’s budget of more than $1.9 million for all five of the town’s operating funds. The proposed budget was originally presented during a work session at the end of May.
As part of the plan, the current tax rate of 69 cents per $100 assessed valuation will decrease 3 cents to 66 cents per $100 value. This is a decrease of over 4 percent from the current rate.
When commissioners approved the budget last year, mention of lowering the tax rate in the near future was made.
Former town clerk Tony Blalock stated earlier that it was less difficult to formulate a new budget when starting from a strong financial position, much like the place the town now finds itself after much work and determination.
“Our town employees and town board work very hard to serve our citizens and to continually improve the quality of living in our town,” Roseboro mayor Alice Butler said.
According to the town’s budget, the general fund is in excellent financial condition with a current cash balance of $1.35 million.
“Operational costs are being met in part due to growing revenues from the state,” the prepared budget read. “Fund balance of $67,000 is used to balance the general fund budget, as revenues are conservatively estimated. However, this draft budget does not include any major equipment purchases or capital investment.”
Water and sewer fund
The town of Roseboro has struggled in the past to build the water and sewer fund, but an increase in the sewer base rate should generate an additional $7,000, however the bulk of water sales for construction of the N.C. 24 bypass will be ending.
Contracted services are budgeted at $75,000 and capital outlay is budgeted at $30,000 to cover the costs for well No. 3 maintenance, sanding and painting the crane jib, installation of isolation valves and electrical repairs for the water system.
Funding for the town match of the AIA grant of $20,750 is included in the budget proposal. Projected utility revenues are $124,450 short of budgeted expenditures and the fund balance must budgeted to fill the gap. Without substantial growth in the water and sewer revenues, utility reserves will soon be depleted. According to the budget, the rates for customers are still not in line with escalating maintenance costs.
“This budget presentation is far from perfect and leaves unfunded many items needed for the town of Roseboro,” the budget statement reads.
The town has been investing in the depot building in downtown. New flooring, roof and windows have been installed at the town’ expense. These items were all necessary for safety and damage prevention. More improvements are budgeted for the 2017-18 year, but the current rent is expected to cover these and normal operating costs.
Revolving loan fund
According to the budget proposal, revenues from previous loan recipients are estimated at $23,462, with six active loans. The fund has over $100,000 available for additional loans.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.