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City Council will receive post-COVID-19 budget proposal Tuesday

By Liz Moomey

liz.moomey@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — At Tuesday’s electronic City Council meeting, Manager Lane Bailey will present a proposed budget.

Bailey has already relayed to the Salisbury council that he does not feel comfortable with proposing a tax increase and has worked to minimize fee increases for the next fiscal year’s budget. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak and mandatory economic shutdowns, sales tax revenue is expected to be down, but Finance Manager Wade Furches said the numbers would be unknown until June.

The new fiscal year starts in July.

The League of Municipalities estimates the city may experience a 10-25% decrease in sales tax revenue — a 10% decrease would be $290,000, a 20% decrease would be $580,000 and a 25% decrease would be $725,000.

While the council has already approved a recycling fee increase of 94 cents per household, the proposed budget is unlikely to include new fee increases for landfill and waste collection, water and sewer or stormwater. Bailey said at the May 6 council meeting he worked with Public Services Director Craig Powers to eliminate the landfill and waste collection fee increases.

Bailey has been meeting with department heads to talk through their budgets.

At the April 28 budget workshop, Bailey listed a number of city department projects that would be deferred, including Fire Station No. 3, estimated to cost $6.75 million. Some projects will continue that are currently in progress, including the Grants Creek Greenway, Newsome Road repaving and Brenner Avenue sidewalks. Bailey also said city employees would not receive a raise and there would be a hiring freeze for vacant positions.

The council will set a public hearing for June 2 to get citizens’ input of the the 2020-2021 fiscal year budget.

The meeting will be streamed live at salisburync.gov/webcast and on the city’s Twitter account. Anyone who wishes to speak during public comment must sign-up by 5 p.m. Tuesday by contacting Kelly Baker at kbake@salisburync.gov or 704-638-5233.

Speakers unable to sign-up prior to 5:00 p.m. can submit comments by email to tiffany.crook@salisburync.gov and they will be added to the record.

Other agenda items:

• The council will consider authorizing the sale of a parcel in the 400 block of Freedom Drive to Paola Guadalupe Guerrero-Alonso for $5,000.

• The council will receive a presentation of the draft fiscal year 2020-2024 consolidated plan and draft 2021 Action Plan for the use of the Community Development Block Grant and HOME program funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

HUD requires that every five years communities receiving CDBG and HOME Program funds complete a comprehensive analysis and plan that identifies community development needs, prioritizes those needs, and details how they will be addressed.

• The council will go into closed session to consult with the city attorney.

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