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Cooleemee budget keeps current tax rate

COOLEEMEE— Town leaders are considering a fiscal year 2011-2012 budget that would maintain the current property tax rate.
“We are very optimistic about Cooleemee’s direction and this is expressed in the budget message I am submitting today,” said John Chandler, the town’s finance officer, said in a press release. “We are proposing some major steps forward for our people that will strengthen (and) make us a safer community, one that invests in the next generation, and a place that is looking after its economic future.”
Despite “several years of diminished revenues,” the press release says, the proposed budget maintains the current property tax rate of 38 cents per $100 of property value. All funds within the budget are balanced, with revenues and expenditures identified. The general fund is recommended to be $647,861.
Chandler said the top objectives identified by the Town Board of Commissioners are:
• The establishment of a Recreation Department;
• Moving the Town Recreation Department to the Zachary House near the playground;
• Creation of a Code Enforcement Department along with an aggressive marketing campaign to increase the percentage of home ownership;
• Continued strengthening of community participation through a town newsletter, a new website — www.cooleemee.org — and building a network of neighbors on each street;
• Continuing to update the fleet of Police Department vehicles;
• Raise the police chief to full-time salary;
• Expand clerk/finance officer to full time duty;
• In partnership with the Davie County Economic Development Commission, begin a two-year “design phase” for transforming Cooleemee’s old Cotton Mill.
A public hearing on the proposed budget will be the first item on the agenda at the board’s June 27 meeting at Town Hall. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. Anyone wanting to speak on the budget must sign up and their comments will be limited to three minutes each.
To pick up a complete copy of the budget proposal, stop by Cooleemee Town Hall between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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