Landis aldermen say proposed budget is a “good” one

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 31, 2018

LANDIS — The Landis Board of Aldermen held a three-minute budget meeting Wednesday.

Why was it so short?

When asked for discussion about the proposed budget, none of the aldermen had anything to add.

Before the meeting was adjourned, Town Manager Reed Linn said several aldermen had stopped by his office to ask questions since the proposed budget was submitted to the board in early May.

“I went through the budget real well,” said Alderman Bobby Brown.

“You did go through it line item by line item,” Linn agreed.

After the meeting, Brown said he did not bring up any discussion because he felt it is a “good budget.”

“It brings everything into focus for the town. The water, the sewer, the power. Everything will be brought into focus here,” Brown said. “It will be a profitable enterprise for the town of Landis.”

The proposed fiscal year 2018-19 budget would increase property taxes by 5 cents and implement a $30-per-vehicle annual registration fee.

When asked how he thinks residents will react to the added costs, Brown said he is “sure they would be concerned about it.”

“But once they start seeing the roads paved in this town, they’ll understand what it’s for,” Brown said.

The property tax increase and vehicle registration fee are projected to produce enough revenue for $300,000 worth of street paving.

The vehicle fee alone would generate $102,900 a year exclusively for streets.

Mayor Pro Tem Tommy Garver said he thinks some people might be concerned about the vehicle registration fee.

“My decision on that was based on we would be able to share that between all residents — renters or owners,” Garver said. “If we didn’t do the vehicle tax, then only property owners would have shared in that.”

Garver also said he is “very pleased and complimentary” of the work the Landis town staff has done.

“It’s a good budget. I think it’s something we can operate the town pretty efficiently with,” Garver said. “And I think we can do a lot of good stuff with the new things we’re doing.”

Alderman Tony Corriher said he had some hesitations about the budget but didn’t bring them up during the meeting because he felt he was “outnumbered.”

“There’s been too many vehicles bought that didn’t have to be bought right now,” Corriher said.

Corriher also mentioned concerns about overtime pay.

“But overall, there’s no way out of it. People want streets paved. We have no money to pay them,” Corriher said. “So I’m not happy, but I had to go with it.”

Alderman Seth Moore said that, compared to the board’s budget discussions two years ago, this year’s talks went well.

“This year was definitely one of the not-so-animated budget sessions,” Moore said. “This year, pretty much everyone was on the same page the whole way through. No animosity toward one another.”

Moore said he thought the budget would pass “pretty much” unanimously.

Mayor Mike Mahaley said he is “pleased” with the budget and the work done by the staff.

“People before the end of the year are going to see two or three major roads paved,” Mahaley said.

But Mahaley said he is not sure residents will feel as good about the budget as he does.

“But unless you sit on the board, you don’t understand. You get ‘I want, I want, I want, I want,'” Mahaley said. “And we’re at the point now that it’s not what they want, it’s what they need. We need some streets paved. We need some things straightened out around here.”

There will be a public hearing on the budget at 7 p.m. June 25 at Landis Town Hall, 312 S. Main St.

Contact reporter Jessica Coates at 704-797-4222.