Granite Quarry board approves a $2.3 million budget for 2017-18
By Mark Wineka
GRANITE QUARRY — After removing an expensive sidewalk construction project, which would have been mostly federally funded, the Granite Quarry Board of Aldermen approved a $2.3 million town budget for 2017-18.
The Granite Quarry tax rate stays at 41.75 cents per $100 valuation. The owner of a $150,000 home would pay, for example, $626.25 in property taxes to the town.
Residents also pay an $11 “environmental fee” per month for garbage pickup.
Each cent on the town’s property tax rate yields about $22,240 in revenue. The total property valuation is more than $210.5 million, and Granite Quarry has an estimated tax collection rate of 97 percent for real, personal and vehicle taxes.
Broken down by department, the 2017-18 budget allocates the police department $643,940; fire department, $389,219; administration, $438,596; maintenance, $217,993; environmental, $174,000; parks and recreation, $42,455; and governing body, $19,987.
Granite Quarry’s actual cost for police, which falls under the Granite Quarry-Faith Police Authority, is $508,066. The town of Faith’s calculated payment of 21.1 percent, based on current population numbers, amounts to $135,874, and that number is reflected in the police department’s $643,940 total.
The newly approved budget sets aside $53,840 for a new police car and all of the equipment needed to outfit a new car.
The budget also has $372,479 for “projects.” The allocation for projects had been $756,479 going into Tuesday’s budget hearing, but after much discussion, aldermen decided to pull out of a proposed $490,000 construction plan for new sidewalks.
A federal grant, which had been approved in 2015, would have paid $384,000 of that total, along with a $50,000 grant from the Carolina Thread Trail and a $56,000 contribution from the town.
The new sidewalks would have been along portions of U.S. 52, Kern Street, Oak Street and Crook Street.
Frustrated with engineering delays and concerns the project could end up costing the town more than $56,000, aldermen decided not to accept the federal money and dissolve its contract with the engineers.
The projects budget also reflects $83,000 in Powell Bill funds used for street paving and repair and $106,000 in debt service, which pays on loans for the Village of Granite water line, a 2015 firetruck and an initial interest payment on Town Hall renovations.
Compared to the 2016-17 budget, which ends with the fiscal year Friday, the new budget gives slight increases to all town departments.
It provides for a 2.34 percent pay increase for full-time town employees. The town manager is authorized to approve all merit increases based on the recommendations of department heads and the results of performance evaluations throughout the year.
Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.