Spencer adopts $3.2 million budget

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 12, 2020

By Carl Blankenship

SPENCER — The Spencer Board of Alderman adopted the town’s 2020-2021 budget on Tuesday night totaling just below $3.25 million in revenues and expenditures.

The budget was adopted with little discussion, though Town Manager David Treme did point out a late addition in the form of a written request from the senior citizen program asking for an additional $1,000 for its senior meals program after funding has  remained the same for several years.

Anticipated revenues include $1.6 million from property taxes, $728,000 from sales taxes and $214,000 from other tax sources. Another  $480,000 in miscellaneous revenue and $249,000 to be appropriated from the town’s fund balance complete the budget.

The board is funded at $134,000, administration at $567,000, police at $1.51 million, fire service at $345,000, streets at $451,000, solid waste at $379,000, land management at $164,000, the library at $37,000 and recreation at $16,000.

The budget is based on a property tax rate of 65.5 cents per $100 of valuation and is a balanced budget as required by the state. The tax rate did not increase from the previous year, and the budget was created anticipating some loss in anticipated sales tax revenue based on the projected economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The town already held the required public hearing for the budget during a pre-agenda meeting on June 4.

The regular meeting on Tuesday was live streamed on Facebook, as have all of the town’s other recent meetings, with aldermen and administration spaced out in the room to meet social distancing guidelines.

The sole comment from the board on the budget came from Alderman Bob Bish, who noted he takes issue with the $50-per-day fee for the town’s ballpark, and said the fee is generous for the use of the park along with the cost of fire and police presence at the park.

Treme said he has not been with the town for a ball season, but he believes there are town personnel on site when the facility is used.

Treme noted he was under the impression the town philosophy was to keep the fee low to encourage participation from the town and the costs would be covered by salaries for town police and fire personnel, but the board could revisit the town’s fees at its July meeting and decide if they need to be adjusted.

“I think we need to kind of tailor our fees to what it costs us to hope that group or organization,” Bish said.

The board voted unanimously to adopt the budget.

About Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship has covered education for the Post since December 2019. Before coming to Salisbury he was a staff writer for The Avery Journal-Times in Newland and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017, where he was editor of The Appalachian.

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