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Spencer tax rate up for discussion

By Emily Ford
eford@salisburypost.com
SPENCER — Spencer residents can weigh in on the controversial proposed budget during a public hearing at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Town Hall.
The Board of Aldermen will consider Town Manager Larry Smith’s second proposed 2011-12 budget. Aldermen sent Smith back to the drawing board last month after his first budget outline, saying they wanted more cuts and a lower tax rate increase.
Smith’s new budget uses a 62.8 cent property tax rate, lower than his originally suggested revenue-neutral rate of 65.6 cents but still higher than the town’s current 60 cents.
His proposal would eliminate two full-time and one part-time position, cut another position to part-time and split one employee’s time between two departments.
The $2.44 million budget would eliminate a replacement police car and one set of fire department turnout gear, as well as furlough remaining town employees for three days during the next fiscal year, which starts July 1.
Also Tuesday night, aldermen will:
• Hold three public hearings: Allowing pawn shops in the Highway Business District, sign ordinance and curb-and-gutter ordinance.
• Hold a courtesy hearing on garbage pickup (curbside or privatization)
• Hear requests to address the board from Carl Marti and NCIT
• Consider a facade grant request from Little Choo Choo Shop
• Consider supporting the Rowan County one-cent sales tax
• Discuss Land Management Services
• Discuss Fibrant.
Spencer’s proposed 2011-12 budget
• $2.44 million total
• 62.8 cent property tax rate (2.8-cent increase)
• No cost of living adjustment, merit increase or longevity pay
• Cuts administrative clerk and sanitation work
• Cuts code enforcement officer to parttime
• Splits police administrative position between two departments
• No capital expenditures
• Three-day furlough for employees

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