Public hearing today to adopt China Grove budget
CHINA GROVE — The town will hold a public hearing today so residents can voice their opinions regarding the proposed 2013-14 budget. The public hearing will be held at 6 p.m. at town hall. The Town Council has held several meetings to discuss the budget, including each department head’s wish list.
One of the items the department heads requested was a pay increase or merit increase for its employees.
The board implemented a 1 percent pay increase in its current budget and has included the same in the upcoming year’s budget. The board has placed a 2 percent merit pool and a 1 percent cost-of-living increase. The money from the merit pool will fund employee raises.
Since the board implemented a 4-cent tax rate increase in the current budget, council members agreed they would not include an increase in the upcoming budget. Board members also expect they won’t need to incorporate a tax hike in next year’s budget.
Residents should continue to see a savings in their utility bills, a savings that came after the town contracted with Salisbury-Rowan Utilities in 2011. A year ago, the board approved the transfer of the water and sewer system to Salisbury. Town staff estimates a 12 percent savings again this year in utility bills.
The town staff balanced the budget at about $3.1 million.
The board will also entertain comments about the proposed fee increases. The only fees the town charges that will increase are the cost of using the curb cutting equipment, which went from $200 to $300, and use of the concrete apron equipment from $400 to $800. All other fees remain the same including requesting incident reports from the police, using town trucks for hauling material and renting property including the community building.
Town hall is at 333 N. Main St.