City Council to approve budget at Tuesday meeting

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 16, 2019

By Liz Moomey

SALISBURY — The Salisbury City Council could approve one of three versions of the 2019-20 budget during a meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 217 S. Main St.

The council held a budget workshop last week and discussed changes to the budget City Manager Lane Bailey proposed.

Councilwoman Tamara Sheffield questioned Bailey’s recommendation for a tax rate decrease from 71.96 cents per $100 of property valuation to 71.27 cents, even as Bailey has warned the council periodically about how challenging next year’s budget would be. Council members agreed with Sheffield on keeping the current tax rate, which will give the city an extra $208,000 in revenue.

The council will have to decide how to use the additional revenue. It has agreed that $95,000 of it will go to support the Salisbury STEM Cohort. The remaining allocations will be discussed Tuesday.

The Rowan IDEA Center has requested $75,000. Several council members asked what that money would be used for and what kind of impact the entrepreneur incubator has on the community.

The rest of the tax revenue could be used for the contingency expenses at an amount of $38,000 or $113,000. Another option would be to reduce the general fund appropriation by $113,000.

Other business:

• The council will consider several amendments to the land development ordinance. The Planning Board recommended that the chapter on bars, taverns and nightclubs be updated to say that no facility shall be located within 500 feet of any lot in a neighborhood mixed-use, commercial mixed-used or highway business zoning district or within 50 feet of any lot in the downtown mixed-use zoning district that includes a school, church or commercial child care center.

The chapter was also amended to redefine a bar, tavern or nightclub as a business where alcoholic beverages are sold for on-site consumption and which is not part of a larger microbrewery, restaurant, lodging facility, movie theater or general retail business.

The council also will consider amending the vehicle and bicycle parking chapter to consider interior and exterior dining areas in square footage calculations.

The Planning Board also recommended amending the general building guidelines to allow open-walled garden structures or features in a street-side or front yard.

• The council will receive information on the downtown master plan from Engineering Director Wendy Brindle, Planning Director Hannah Jacobson and Downtown Salisbury Inc. Executive Director Larissa Harper.

• Warren Miller of Fountainworks Facilitation and Management Consulting will give a report on a March 15 economic development meeting.

• Vivian Koontz, events coordinator for the Parks and Recreation Department, will give an update on the 2019 Cheerwine Festival.

• The council will consider a $660,000 contract with D.E. Walker Construction Co. for replacement of the Fourth Street and Yadkin Avenue water line.

• The council will consider approving a $329,488 contract for roof replacement at City Hall and Fire Station 1.

• City Attorney Graham Corriher and Administration Services Director Kelly Baker will ask the council to approve a $48,000 contract for federal lobbying services.

• Mayor Al Heggins will present proclamations on the 75th anniversary of D-Day, Junteenth and Salisbury Pride Day.

• In the consent agenda, the council agreed on a resolution of support for a BUILD grant application for improvements at the Salisbury and Kannapolis rail depots. The project is estimated to cost $24.56 million. The N.C. Department of Transportation will apply for a grant in the amount of $13.43 million.