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By Shavonne Potts
Salisbury Post
LANDIS When the budget season nears, its always a time of prayer. Many departments pray that after unforeseen cuts, theyll still be able to fund projects.
The 2007-08 budget as of Monday nights budget session was about half a million dollars short. Cuts were made before the end of the meeting and more are expected to come after revisions.
The Police Department faces a $10,000 cut to their original $25,000 for building maintenance. That was the only cut the department received Monday from $732,725, the amount after projected cuts.
Police Chief Reggie Faggart said Tuesday theyll have to make do with what they have.
The department was planning to use its training room, which has been a temporary home to the Board of Aldermen since last year, as a new patrol room.
We have outgrown our patrol room. We have 11 officers in an 800-square-foot room, Faggart said.
His hope was to obtain some cubicle walls and other furnishings to create a bigger patrol room.
Faggart also wants to see a door in the training room cut into the middle of the wall, which would grant an easier pathway to a current hall and entryway.
He said they should still be able to do that renovation.
Town Administrator and Fire Chief Reed Linn told Faggart at Mondays budget session that the Fire Department had some cubicle walls hed be glad to give the Police Department.
Faggart said he had not yet looked into the price of cubicle walls.
Right now, well do some minor things, he said.
The administration expenses were cut by $10,000 $7,000 from Planning and Zoning and $3,000 from debris removal.
The cut should not affect Planning and Zoning, Linn said.
We contract with Centralina Council of Governments and have leftover money in the account that will transfer, he said.
We usually dont have a problem with debris removal if the property owners clean their debris. If the department has to come pick up debris, the property owner is billed for the charges, Linn said.
This current fiscal year, the department had only used a little more than 50 percent of its debris removal funds and about 20 percent thus far of its Planning and Zoning funds. The amount the upcoming budget was reduced by was a little more than the department used this year.
The administration budget, with its cuts, should operate at $463,331.
The fire department will receive $15,000 less than expected. At Mondays meeting, $5,000 was inked out from supplies and $10,000 from capital expense equipment.
Linn said Monday that the capital expenses were to replace turnout gear for firefighters. A presentation at the boards annual retreat in March revealed the current gear is usable for a short time, but firefighters really need something safer.
Linn said the department could replace the criticial turnout gear now or about two-thirds. The supplies cover the cleaning supplies, paint for hydrants and paper goods the fire department uses. He said they could operate with $5,000 less.
The fire department expects to operate on a budget of $348,705 after Mondays cuts.
About $40,000 was taken from the street departments Powell Bill expenses.
Powell Bill funds are an annual appropriation from the State Highway Fund, which can be used for street maintenance, traffic control and snow removal.
Linn said Powell Bill funds will go into the fund balance in sort of a reserve account and be used next year.
The streets department is budgeted to operate with its $318,040, the total after cuts.
Although operating with a lot less this year, the recreation budget did not undergo any additional cuts. It will operate on a $264,274 budget, down about $40,500 from the 2006-07 fiscal year.
The sanitation department also did not receive any additional cuts to its budget. It will operate on a budget of $280,210 as of Mondays meeting. This amount is up about $11,300 from the 2006-07 budget. The bulk of the increase came from salaries and accompanying benefits that include retirement, 401K and other deductions.
Linn said Monday that everything in the sanitation budget is fixed and cant be changed.
The board will conclude its budget session at 6 p.m. June 11.Contact Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253 or spotts@salisburypost.com.

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