Kannapolis council approves budget, cuts tax rate
By Hugh Fisher
KANNAPOLIS ó The Kannapolis City Council formally approved its 2008-2009 budget Monday, dropping the property tax rate by seven-tenths of a cent per $100 of property value.
The ordinance authorizing the $45.6 million budget passed on a 6-1 vote. True to the promise he made at the final budget workshop, Councilman Richard Anderson voted against the budget.
“I’ve been on this council since ’91,” Anderson said. “This city is always going to have a list of items that we’re not going to do for lack of money. That doesn’t change anything. It’s just a crying shame.”
Anderson had hoped to see the tax rate reduced to 45 cents per $100 of property value.
“That’s less than 60 cents a month that this council has donated to taxpayers in one of the hardest economic times we’ve had that I’ve heard of in a while,” Anderson said.
To reduce the tax rate by seven-tenths of a cent, debt service on the Kannapolis Fire Department’s new ladder truck will be delayed until next year. Some other miscellaneous line items were cut as additional funds came in from Cabarrus County, City Manager Mike Legg said.
Even so, Anderson took issue with some expenditures, such as funds paid to outside groups to organize the city’s Christmas parade.
“I’m trying to help senior citizens, young folks, middle-aged folks … black, white, rich or poor, we all need assistance in hard times,” Anderson said.
In other business, the council voted to accept the plan recommended by staff for renaming Rogers Lake Road, including the new section to be opened later this year connecting Kannapolis Parkway with Dale Earnhardt Boulevard.
The motion passed on a 6-1 vote, with Anderson opposing the measure.
With the completion of the extension, Rogers Lake Road will extend from Kannapolis Parkway and encompass sections of what is now Triece Street and Universal Street.
The existing Rogers Lake Road between Boy Scout Camp Road and the new segment will be renamed Isenhour Road.
The portion of Rogers Lake Road between South Main Street and Triece Street will become Lowrance Avenue and connect to the existing road of that name.
Anderson, along with Councilman Gene McCombs, originally put forth alternate proposals, one of which would have renamed the segment that curves north from the new extension “Calvin Rogers Road” in deference to those who settled the area.
Another plan to call that section “Old Rogers Lake Road” was vetoed by county officials, citing the potential for confusion in responding to emergency calls.
Councilman Kenneth Geathers supported the new naming, citing the need to make the city accessible to newcomers.
“It’s so nice to keep things as they are, but the most constant thing is change. This city is going to change,” he said.