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Town of Spencer in good financial standing

By Amanda Raymond
amanda.raymond@salisburypost.com

SPENCER – The town of Spencer is doing well financially, according to an audit report.

Eddie Carrick, certified public accountant, presented an overview of the financial report at the Board of Aldermen meeting Tuesday.

The report is for the year ending on June 30, 2016.

“You had a good year this past year,” Carrick said.

About $165,000 was added to the fund balance in the past year, compared to a $105,000 increase the previous year.

Revenues increased by about $70,000.

“The majority of that was in your local auction sales tax. It was an increase of about $38,000, which I’m seeing out of 16 towns that I deal with across the region here. And that’s a very positive thing because it tends to indicate that the economy is continuing to grow at this point in time,” Carrick said.

Carrick also said the town’s expenditures increased by about $11,000 over the previous year, based on $2.6 million of total expenditures.

“So that’s like four-tenths of 1 percent increase in expenditures,” Carrick said.

Carrick said $197,000 of capital outlay was included in the $2.6 million.

“When I say capital outlay, I’m talking about items that the town purchased that’s going to actually last more than one year,” Carrick said.

About $71,000 went toward street improvements, $40,000 for equipment and $35,000 for vehicle costs. All of those costs were included in the $197,000.

The unassigned fund balance for the general fund ended up at about $2 million, which is about 77 percent of the general fund expenditures.

“The average for a municipality your size in North Carolina is about 60 percent. So you’re slightly above where the average for North Carolina for a town your size is,” Carrick said.

Spencer’s total net position increased by about $343,700, and Carrick said it was due to the conservative spending in the general fund by previous boards and the current one.

The total debt decreased by about $116,200.

Mayor Jim Gobbel thanked staff for keeping the town financially responsible.

“For a town y’all’s size, y’all really have a lot of good things going on,” Carrick said.

In other business, the board:

  • Heard reports from town departments. Police Chief Michael James said there was probably a slight uptick in crime over the past year and the department worked most of 2016 with vacancies.
    Fire Chief Gray Grubb said the department answered 669 calls for service in 2016, an increase of 47 calls from 2015. There were 423 EMS-related calls and 246 fire-related calls.
    Troy Powell, Land Management Department director, said the department issued eight permits for new businesses, three for new homes, eight for new accessory structures and 36 for additions to structures in 2016. Joel Taylor, Public Works Department director, said services were running a day behind. Brush and leaf pick up will resume once the snow melts.
    The town has also chosen McGill Associates as the engineering firm for the Fourth Street stormwater project.
  • Heard a report from Town Manager Reid Walters. The Rowan County Municipal Association will hold its meeting in Spencer on Jan. 26. Lynn Moody, superintendent of Rowan-Salisbury Schools, will be the speaker.
    The town has received its first large PARTF reimbursement for the Spencer Woods project. Walters said the paperwork for the final reimbursement will be sent out next week.
    The town’s bicycle and pedestrian project has received potential funding under the 2018-2027 state Transportation Improvement Program. Walters and Joel Taylor, public works director, will meet with engineers to discuss the feasibility of the project in the coming weeks.
  • Set its planning retreat for Feb. 17-18.
  • Approved the Rowan County Declaration of Interdependence.
  • Proclaimed Monday as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
  • Proclaimed February 2017 as Black History Month.
  • Heard a report from the Community Appearance Commission. The commission received $2,000 of the $8,000 it asked for in grant funding and will use the money to purchase one piece of public art for the town. The board previously agreed to pay $500 toward each art piece to cover installation costs. Beth Nance said the commission will make up the remaining $1,000 needed for the purchase through private donations.
  • Appointed Mayor Pro Tem Sylvia Chillcott to be the delegate to the Centralina Council of Governments and board member Kevin Jones to be the alternate.
  • Approved the town hall meeting schedule for 2017.

Contact reporter Amanda Raymond at 704-797-4222.

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