After months of hard work and many special-called meetings, Roseboro commissioners have finally put together their budget for the 2012-13 year.
Commissioners, Mayor David Alexander and town officials said they have worked diligently to come up with a budget that was more financially beneficial to the town after the 2011-12 audit showed Roseboro had lost $39,121 in revenue due mainly to bookkeeping errors, which also constituted at least three state violations.
The unanimous approval of the budget came with only one increase — a rise in town utility rates for water and sewer by $1, beginning July 1.
There was no increase in the tax rate, cemetery rates or pay increases for employees.
Surprisingly, there was no increase in privilege license fees for internet sweepstakes establishments, either, a topic which the board debated at length recently in hopes of finding other revenue streams for the town. However, fees will be adjusted during the re-codification process that will be taking place during the upcoming fiscal year, which means, those rates could possibly go up at a late date.
Officially, the upcoming budget of $1,096,265, was lower than the 2011-12 budget of $1,142,000.
“From all of our negotiations, we have reduced the budget,” said commissioner Roland Hall. “I think that is a very positive thing for us.”
Another move the board made was to try and cover all outstanding bills before July 1, in hopes to get rid of all rollover debt.
“I think we should try and start fresh,” Hall said. “We want to start a new budget year without having last year’s bills being carried over and have to pay it with next year’s money. It should be a clean slate if we could do it.”
“We want to start new next year,” agreed Alexander.
Town clerk Drenda Ammons explained that a lot of the town’s bills were paid earlier this week, but some would still come in by the end of the month.
“We will do our best to get everything done by June 30,” she told the board. “We will close them all out, as of June 30. But you will always have a bill that will sweep in here at the very end of the month. I will cushion each one in case one comes in late and it will be covered … the money will be there.”
Splash Pad on hold?
Those looking forward to the purchase of a splash pad and a permanent restroom facility, as well as other renovation items, at Roseboro Park will be put on hold, at least until sometime next year.
“The $26,000 that we would have to pay for that splash pad …,” said Hall, “I hope that we can do it, but I want to throw in a word of caution. We have to borrow money (to pay) for some of these other projects. So, I would suggest that we delay the purchase of that until the fourth quarter.”
Hall explained that since the splash pad money, as well as the restroom, was submitted for approval in a grant earlier this year, if the town waits, it could be awarded the grant and the money would be saved.
“We can go ahead and use that money for debt service,” he said. “If it is delayed until the spring of next year, we would have time to see if we get the grant and go ahead and use the $26,000 for debt service …”
Commissioner Alice Butler agreed.
“I think that is very reasonable,” she said. “It is already July; it wouldn’t get installed until then anyway.”
“It wouldn’t be prudent to spend that money on the splash pad, if we get that grant,” Hall reiterated. “Right now, we need to save every dollar we can.”
The board will find out if they get the grant in December.
The delay of the purchase was made by a unanimous vote.
To reach Doug Clark call 910-592-8137 ext. 123 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.