Granite Quarry keeps tax rate the same
By Mark Wineka
GRANITE QUARRY — The Granite Quarry Board of Aldermen approved a $2.37 million budget Thursday night that maintains the town’s tax rate at 42 cents per $100 valuation.
The owner of a Granite Quarry home valued, for example, at $150,000 will continue to pay $630 a year in town property tax. The owner of an $80,000 home, $336.
Aldermen held a public hearing on the budget at 6 p.m. Thursday, then met again at 7 p.m. to approve the final product with a tweak here and there.
Broken down by departments, the budget calls for the following expenditures:
• Governing body, $18,679. Aldermen rejected a proposal to raise pay for aldermen from $2,000 to $2,500. So the board salaries remain at $3,200 a year for mayor, $2,200 for the mayor pro tem and $2,000 a year for an alderman.
• Administration, $372,769. Planning and zoning are included in this figure.
• Police, $619,754. The town of Faith pays 21.2 percent, or $131,388 of this figure, based on its current population. So the actual cost for Granite Quarry for the Granite Quarry-Faith Police Authority is $488,366. The police budget includes the purchase and outfitting of a new vehicle.
• Fire, $360,937.
• Maintenance, $189,339.
• Parks and recreation, $41,154, which is a reduction from last year because tennis courts were resurfaced in the 2014-15 budget.
• Environmental, $175,000. An $11-a-month environmental fee charged to property owners covers garbage collection and other household services.
• Projects, $541,149. A big chunk of this figure includes a federal transportation grant of $384,000 and a $50,000 grant from the Carolina Thread Trail. Both are for new sidewalk construction. The town’s total cost is estimated at $56,000. Powell Bill funds of $27,149 have been set aside for street repaving and repairs.
Some other budget highlights include a pool of money that would allow merit increases for town employees of up to 3 percent; $30,000 toward revitalizing town-owned property at 316 Main St.; and $18,000 toward a second installment for Arnett Muldrow, a planning firm helping with a town revitalization plan.
Voting for the budget were Mayor Bill Feather, Alderwoman Mary Ponds and Aldermen Mike Brinkley and Arin Wilhelm.
Mayor Pro Tem Jim LaFevers was absent.
Brinkley said he would like capital money to be in next year’s budget to make repairs to the town hall building at 143 N. Salisbury Ave. and to repave more streets. He cited North Jack and North Oak as examples of streets which need attention.
In another matter, aldermen approved spending $48,000 toward the engineering work associated with constructing a $250,000 to $300,000 waterline to serve a proposed subdivision, The Village at Granite, off Faith Road.
The 12-inch waterline would be constructed along the Gildan access road now under construction off Heilig Road. “If everything works out,” Feather said, construction could start on The Village at Granite toward the end of the year.
Meanwhile, the town probably will look at a finance package to pay costs of the engineering and waterline. The town’s engineering firm is Alley, Williams, Carmen & King of Burlington.
Aldermen announced the community kick-off event for gathering the public’s input on a downtown revitalization plan will be held from 6-7:30 p.m. Sept. 15 at Town Hall.
Consultant Phil Conrad went over things the town will be doing to promote the event and making sure residents and business owners participate in the planning process.
Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.