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Landis budget includes furloughs

Water-sewer rates won’t be increasedBy Shavonne Potts
LANDIS ó In a brief budget session Monday, the Board of Aldermen reluctantly included employee furloughs in the 2009-2010 fiscal year budget.
Alderman Tony Hilton asked whether there was a way other than furloughs to come up with more budget cuts. He suggested eliminating some of the board’s travel funding or other cuts.
Finance Officer Ginger Gibson said the budget was very slim.
“I don’t know what we can cut,” she said.
Gibson said many of the budget items are fees such as one for the N.C. League of Municipalities.
One of the issues that arose regarding furloughs was how to compensate employees if the board reassessed the budget midway through the fiscal year and could end the furloughs. As proposed, employees would take one furlough day per month, for a total of 12 days.
The suggestion was to reimburse employees for the reduction in pay brought about by the furloughs. But Alderman Roger Safrit said it was as though the town would be paying employees for days they had not worked.
The final decision came with a stipulation to reassess the furloughs after the first quarter with the option to drop them if they are not needed.
Alderman James Furr said giving employees unpaid time off was something the board wished it did not have to do.
The board briefly discussed using compensatory time instead of permitting employees to get overtime. If employees receive comp time, they will be allowed to use it any time within that fiscal year.
The budget is balanced and the board will not have to increase its sewer and water rates, which was a possibility if Salisbury-Rowan Utilities increased its rates and passed on that increase to its customers, which include Landis.
The Landis staff estimated a 5 percent increase. Salisbury-Rowan Utilities anticipates a 4.57 percent increase in its rates. Since Salisbury was within the Landis estimate, the town will not need to increase the budgeted cost but instead will absorb Salisbury’s increase. Landis sewer and water rates will all remain the same.
The town gets part of its water from Salisbury and Kannapolis.
The board also:
– Swore in new police officer, Patrolman Don Silardi. He has previously worked as an officer in Mecklenburg County. Silardi will fill a department vacancy.
– Approved continuing with Pro-Green to provide lawn-care service. The town entered into a two-year contract with the Landis company in 2007.
Current board members agreed they were pleased with the company’s services and extended the contract for another year.
– Approved the closing of North Kimmons Street from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., June 15-19, for Landis Baptist Church, which will have Vacation Bible School during this time. The church said it would be safer for the nearly 300 participants to have access to the church and other buildings.
The board will hold a public hearing at 7 p.m. June 22 regarding its budget.


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