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ABC board holds first public hearing

By Karissa Minn
SALISBURY ó For the first time, the Rowan-Kannapolis ABC Board will present its detailed budget this week and invite public comment on it.
The board will hold a public hearing on the budget at 8:30 a.m. Thursday at 510 N. Lee St. in Salisbury.
At 9:30 a.m., the board then will begin its regular meeting, where it plans to discuss the fiscal year 2011-12 budget and make any desired changes before passing the final version.
The budget projects that the local ABC system will bring in $9.3 million in revenue, generating less than $4.4 million in gross profit after $4.9 million in inventory purchases for its stores. It would spend more than $4.4 million in taxes, distributions and other expenses.
According to a state law that went into effect last summer, each local Alcoholic Beverage Control board is now required to keep a balanced budget and make it available to the public.
ěItís been a time-consuming thing,î said General Manager Terry Osborne. ěWe used to just set a course for the year. … Weíve been talking to boards who had done a budget in the past, and weíre learning how theyíve done things.î
Osborne, who stressed that the budget has not yet been adopted, said itís normally not hard to estimate the systemís sales in the coming year, but the recent recession and slow recovery have made that more difficult in the past few years.
ěWeíve been trying to study the trends in this economy, and we tried to come up with an adequate figure for what sales would be,î he said.Another challenge, Osborne said, is working unknown factors into the detailed calculation. This past year, the board had to make unexpected roof repairs after the systemís headquarters sustained water damage from a rainstorm.
The state required to appoint a chief financial officer to oversee the budget process. Rowan-Kannapolis board members voted in December to appoint current staff member Julie Eller rather than hiring an additional person.
Osborne said Eller has been working hard on the budget. Two of the boardís members, Ken Argo and David McCoy, are Certified Public Accountants and also have helped in the process.
At its Thursday meeting, the Rowan-Kannapolis ABC Board also plans to:
Pass a resolution concerning receiving sealed bids for the sale of the vacant Spencer ABC store.
Discuss an employee opinion survey requested by Board Chair Linda Lowman.
Discuss the systemís 2011 fiscal year audit.
Contact reporter Karissa Minn at 704-797-4222.


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