Garland Commissioners review budget documents during a previous work session.

GARLAND — Budget planning for the upcoming fiscal year is underway for town leaders.

According to a message prepared by Pamela Cashwell, clerk and finance officer for the Town of Garland, the proposed budget ordinance includes total revenues and expenditures in the amount of more than $899,000. A tax increase is not expected.

The largest expense is the General Fund, with $465,381, which is a slight .25 percent increase from current fiscal year total. Some of the rationale behind the increase is for educational and traveling expenses for town officials and election costs.

In addition, it includes a $46 per-month increase in the benefits package offered to employees. Town officials indicated that changing the health plan will “slightly increase the total out of pocket expenses, adding a dental benefit plan, maintaining the life insurance plan, and allowing the employee’s the option to elect vision and short term disability coverage at the their own expense by payroll deduction.”

Garland is also expecting to increase revenue and stabilize the general fund through a new contract with Waste Industries, effective July 1. The business will provide sanitation services for the town.

“Anticipated savings will be realized in the costs of providing these services to residents via a lower price per customer rate,” Cashwell stated in her report. “The addition of out-of-town customers along with an increased profit margin should increase the revenue and help further stabilize the General Fund.”

The second largest fund is Water/Sewer at $304,450, which is a 9.5 increase ($26,650) from the current fiscal year. Some of the listed items include increased water/sewer tap connection fees to cover the cost of new water meters, an increase in the capital outlay/equipment to purchase a new truck for Public Works and improving the sewer systems.

The other listed totals include the North Carolina Small Towns Economic Prosperity (N.C. STEP) Implementation ($70,319); Powell Bill Fund ($41, 874); Technical Assistance Grant Fund ($17, 124); and the N.C. STEP Planning Fund ($108).

Compared to the previous budget, the tax rate is expected to stay at 72 cents, per $100 valuation of taxable property. The rates are based on an estimated valuation of $27,834,722 at a 93 percent rate of collection.

During a recent work session, the Garland Board of Commissioners approved a motion to hold a public hearing. That is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, June 23, at Garland Town Hall, 190 Church Ave.

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