Public hearing on Granite Quarry budget winds up quickly

Published 12:05 am Saturday, June 8, 2019

By Mark Wineka

GRANITE QUARRY — Friday evening’s public hearing on a proposed $3.1 million Granite Quarry budget drew no comment and lasted only a minute.

The Board of Aldermen scheduled its hearing on the 2019-20 budget for 6 p.m. Friday, and by 6:01 p.m. the hearing was over.

The aldermen still intend to have a budget work session at 4:30 p.m. June 18 before final adoption. As of now, the budget proposal has the property tax rate staying the same at 41.75 cents per $100 valuation.

Aldermen spent the 12 remaining minutes of Friday’s meeting talking about a request from Rufty-Holmes Senior Center to move its Granite Quarry lunch site temporarily from Christiana Lutheran Church to the town-owned Legion Building.

The Christiana Lutheran meal site will undergo some construction from July to January.

The senior center is offering $1,200 toward utility costs for the building but no rent.

The aldermen generally agreed they need more information before making a decision.

“It sounds like we have some questions,” Alderman John Linker said after hearing the board’s discussion.

His questions included whether the meals are prepared on site and what kind of cleanup will be done daily.

Alderman Jim Costantino said, “We should be doing more investigating,” because if they don’t some unexpected costs might “come back to us.”

Alderman Kim Cress said the $1,200 being offered by the senior center would translate to about $2.50 an hour to cover utilities, if the senior center were to use the site for lunches over six months.

He also noted the usual rental fee for a resident would be $12,000 over six months; for a nonresident, $30,000.

“I was just looking at the nuts and bolts of it,” Cress said, stressing that he and other board members are not just needing to know more.

Mayor Bill Feather said the board might want to consider a written agreement or contract with the senior center. Aldermen agreed to talk about the request again at the June 18 budget meeting.

The aldermen plan to have a joint meeting at 5:30 p.m. Monday to review an update of the town’s comprehensive land-use plan.

Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.