Landis makes more budget cuts
By Shavonne Potts
LANDIS ó The town staff reported an additional $326,000 in cuts to the 2009-2010 fiscal year budget during the second budget session on Monday.
“We are trying to keep our heads above water and maintain the same services,” said Alderman James Furr.
The budget is balanced. It was balanced as of the board’s last meeting, but this time there were more cuts to streamline the budget.
Last year’s budget was $9,923,057, and the upcoming budget is $9,966,995.
Although the budget is balanced, that could change if Salisbury-Rowan Utilities increases its rates and passes on that increase to its customers, of which Landis is one.
The Landis staff has estimated a 5 percent increase, but town Administrator Reed Linn said if Salisbury increases by anything more than what they’ve estimated, the town will have to re-evaluate.
“I don’t think we could absorb a 7 percent increase,” he said.
The town gets part of its water from Salisbury and Kannapolis.
The board agreed to wait to see what Salisbury does before proceeding with any other cuts.
“There’s not a whole lot we can do,” Mayor Dennis Brown said.
The town will also absorb the cost of its school resource officer, who will become a police patrol officer. The cost including benefits would be about $46,000, Linn said.
The Rowan-Salisbury School System opted to not fund its portion of school resource officers.
The staff cut an additional $27,000 to the Recreation Department, including $22,000 that was originally allotted for a new vehicle. The department has a pickup and a van. The department wanted to replace the van.
Another cut of $5,000 was made to reduce the cost of building maintenance.
Alderman Tony Hilton asked how the town stood on bringing in money from the department.
Linn said the staff has projected $10,000 through concessions from the pool and other special events that are planned.
Recreation Director Julie Noblitt said the revenue was down as a whole because the spring and fall adult softball leagues were cut.
Linn told the board the staff had expected quite a bit of revenue from the utility-pole attachment ordinance, which the board approved in March, but they have projected only $8,000 in income.
He said the town is still in negotiations with two companies, Windstream Communications and Time Warner.
Under the ordinance, providers who want to attach to town-owned poles are required to pay $50 per attachment, per pole.
If a provider is attached, meaning they have wire connections or power supplies to the pole, and have not been authorized, they will be fined $15 per day per attachment until the violation is corrected.
There was a $45,000 cut made to the sewer department, which would’ve been used for equipment. In addition, there was a cut of $140,000 for expansions, improvements and lift-station repairs.
A replacement vehicle for $25,000 was removed from the stormwater budget.
The board’s next regularly scheduled monthly meeting is June 1.