China Grove uses utility fund balance to shore up sewer fund
By Jessie Burchette
CHINA GROVE ó Blame the drought, Gov. Mike Easley’s push for conservation or some bad projections.
Whatever the reason, the town came up $225,000 short in its sewer fund for this fiscal year ending Monday.
In a special meeting Tuesday evening, the Board of Aldermen adopted a budget amendment transferring $225,000 from the utility fund balance to make up the difference.
The town’s water and sewer sales fell short of what had been budgeted in the current fiscal year.
Town Manager Bill Pless spread the blame around for the problem.
“When Gov. Easley tells people to stop buying your product, everybody is in trouble,” he said.
Pless said higher water and sewer rates should help close the gap for the coming year. And projections of sales have been scaled back.
The board also approved other budget amendments by transferring $45,000 to pay for repairs to the fire department floor, grade and gravel a parking lot near the Little League Field and add $5,000 for planning services.
In other matters, the board:
– Agreed to hold a special session in July for board training.
Pless noted that with new board members seated, a two-hour training session will help members learn to better interact and learn the protocol of the manager form of government.
The exact date will be set later and depend on travel plans and other factors.
– Unanimously approved the legal agreement that sets up operation of Rowan Express, with Rowan County, Salisbury, China Grove, Landis and Kannapolis sharing a portion of the cost for the van-and-bus service.
The bulk of the annual cost, $120,000, is being paid with federal funds intended to improve air quality.
China Grove, Salisbury, Landis and Kannapolis each will pay $7,500 annually.
– Adopted a revised and updated capital improvement plan that includes upcoming major purchases and projects for the next five years. The projected cost of the projects totals $13.7 million.
Only those projects in the 2009 budget have been approved by the board.
The town is scheduled to buy an ambulance and mini-pumper fire truck during the coming year using cash that’s been set aside for five years.