City to hear ideas for closing budget gap

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 2, 2011

SALISBURY — City Manager David Treme will present the proposed city budget and a housing task force will make recommendations when Salisbury City Council meets Tuesday.
At the 4 p.m. meeting in City Hall, Treme and city staff will suggest ways to close a $2.7 million budget gap for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1. Treme has said he’s considering reductions in staff, services, operating expenses and capital projects.
The city already has laid off four people and paid others to take early retirement.
The city’s current tax rate is 59 cents per $100 of valuation. However, due to the recent revaluation, the city would need to increase its tax rate next year by 5.2 cents to bring in the same amount of revenue from property taxes.
A new tax rate of 64.2 cents would be “revenue neutral,” meaning the city would neither lose nor gain revenue.
Council will vote on the budget in June.
Also Tuesday, the Advisory Committee on Better Housing and Neighborhood Stabilization will recommend that Council create a housing commission to promote neighborhood health, fair housing and better relationships between tenants and landlords.
But the committee will stop short of recommending a controversial rental-property registry, as well as required inspections of rental property.
The committee will suggest establishing a Code Enforcement Board to hear administrative reviews as part of minimum housing standards violations.
Also on the agenda, Council will:
• Consider an agreement to transfer the China Grove water and sewer system to the city of Salisbury.
• Consider approving the Water Shortage Response Plan.
• Hear Community Development Block Grant estimates, a 23 percent decrease from this year.
• Consider proposed Jersey City intersection improvements.
• Receive an update from staff regarding the Pearl Street, Tower Drive and Davis Street at-grade railroad crossing.
• Consider new safety measures for users of Hall Gym.
• Recognize the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Student Government Association for winning the Top “C” Campus Award at the North Carolina Comprehensive Community College Student Government Association conference.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.