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Salisbury City council will hold budget workshop, public hearing

SALISBURY — The City Council will have meetings on Monday and Tuesday for its 2020-2021 budget as well as its regularly scheduled meeting in which it could appropriate coronavirus-focused grant funding.

Both meetings will be held virtually.

The council’s first meeting with be a budget work session on Monday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. It can be viewed at salisburync.gov/webcast.

During the work session, the council will discuss details of City Manager Lane Bailey’s proposed $46 million general fund budget in addition to spending plans for other funds.

Bailey’s general fund budget reflects a 3.17% decrease in spending from the prior year because of expected decreases in revenue associated with COVID-19. There is not a tax increase, but the proposal includes a 1.83% increase for all Salisbury-Rowan Utilities customers as well as an increase of 8 cents per month, per household increase in the stormwater fee. The city had already approved a 94-cent increase per month for recycling collection.

One notable, proposed cut is the elimination of transit service to Spencer and East Spencer on July 1, but council members and officials from other towns have expressed an interest in keeping services around.

There were other cuts to department budgets and capital projects deferred for a year.

The council is not expected to approve its budget Monday. It will have a public hearing on the budget during its regularly scheduled 6 p.m. meeting Tuesday and consider adoption on June 16.

Anyone who wishes to speak during public comment must sign-up by 5 pm on the day of the council meeting by contacting Kelly Baker via kbake@salisburync.gov or via phone (704) 638-5233.

The Tuesday city council meeting can also be viewed live at salisburync.gov/webcast.

Also during the Tuesday meeting, the Salisbury City Council will:

• Receive a presentation and consider appropriating $168,950 in Community Development Block Grant Funding that’s specifically intended for coronavirus prevention and response.

City staff in agenda documents recommend 100% of funding go toward public service agencies that provide support for low-to-moderate income individuals and families affected by COVID-19.

The city received nine applications for funding. Recommendations on Tuesday’s agenda include: $25,500 for Rowan Helping Ministries; $20,000 for One Love Community Services Inc., a mental health and substance abuse agency to which the United Way has also allocated funding this year; $13,036 to Meals on Wheels Rowan; $9,780 to the Community Care Clinic of Rowan; $5,000 to Gemstones and COMPASS Leadership Academy; and $5,000 to Power Cross Ministries.

The city is still seeking further information before deciding on the following applications: $46,800 to Salisbury Community Development Corporation, $31,850 to the Gateway Freedom Center and $5,000 to Hood Theological Seminary.

The staff recommendation sets aside $6,984 for future needs as they arise.

• On the consent agenda, the city will consider approving a right-of-way encroachment at Lincolntown road and Jake Alexander Boulevard to install directional board duct and fiber-optic cable.

• Also on the consent agenda, the city will consider a number of budget ordinances, including: $500,000 in grant funding from the Office of Justice Programs Strategies for Policing Innovation; $45,802 in grants and donations for the Dixonville-Lincoln Memorial Project; $25,750 in revenue for the Public Art Committee; $18,000 in grants received for the police department.

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