• 93°

East Spencer adopts $5.46 million budget with no tax hike; federal funding will help improve water system

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

EAST SPENCER — The Board of Aldermen on Wednesday adopted a $5.46 million budget for 2021-22 that includes no tax hike and millions in federal funds.

The 2021-22 budget begins July 1 and includes an increase in nearly every fund compared to the current budget ending June 30. A total of $5.09 million was adopted for the general fund for 2020-21.

The water and sewer fund will total $890,638, which is up from the $870,638 adopted for 2020-21. Also included in the budget is $254,103 for the fire department, which is a 13% increase from the current budget. A total of $542,245 will go to the police department. Town Administrator Michael Douglas told the Post the town will be purchasing a new police vehicle.

A total of $146,000 is allocated for public works, $39,350 for zoning and planning, $29,709 for parks and recreation and $52,000 from state Powell Bill revenue, which is used for road work. Included in the budget is $90,753 for capital and special projects, which includes debt payoff of a fire truck and state grants.

“I think this budget shows we’re intentional and focused on our future, Mayor Barbara Mallett told the Post. “And that we’re trying to incorporate all the services for our citizens at a better rate.”

The town anticipates receiving $225,000 in American Rescue Plan funds, which is budgeted in the general fund. The town is currently working on a plan to use those funds pending more federal guidance on eligible uses.

Additionally, the town will receive nearly $2 million in Community Block Development Grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to be used for the rehabilitation of its water system. Another CBDG grant in the amount of $750,000 will be dedicated to home revitalization projects. East Spencer is currently among the municipalities on the Local Government Commission’s watchlist for past financial issues with its water/sewer fund.

The only proposed change at the meeting was a request from council members to include a fee for renting the concession stand at the Royal Giants Park, which was added to the budget’s fee schedule, Douglas said. Mallett said the cost would be $75, but the amount will be reimbursed in full if rentals are clean when returned.

She added the fee increase also helps efforts in “cleaning up the town” with the associated abatement and nuisance fees. Included in the public works fund is $5,000 for demolitions, and all expenses in the fund reflect two days of code enforcement regulation throughout the town.

Though not included in this budget at this time, Mallett said the town will soon need to upgrade its police and public works vehicles.

Comments

Crime

Blotter: July 29

Local

Downtown residents, business owners say noisy construction is A-OK, sign of progress to come

Business

County unemployment rises in June, positive job growth seen in leisure and hospitality sector

Local

NC poet laureate will speak during historical marker celebration, talks about life, race

Local

Spencer moves back public hearing on longer, staggered terms

Education

High school fire academy lets seniors jump start a service career

News

Country Club of Salisbury unveils renovated clubhouse, plots additional upgrades

David Freeze

David Freeze: Biggest adventure day coming next

Local

South Ellis Street in for improvements because of $100,000 grant for BlockWork

Local

Little League softball: Rowan drops regional final, but moves on

Education

Catawba students, grads make it out to the ballpark for summer of baseball

Education

Education briefs: RSS Teacher of the Year gets Phillip J. Kirk Scholarship

News

North Carolina requiring state health workers to get vaccine

Nation/World

Infrastructure deal: Senate suddenly acts to take up bill

News

State briefs: North Carolina woman charged after 4-year-old shoots himself

Coronavirus

Rowan County among communities where CDC recommends masks indoors

Crime

Blotter: Shooters mistakenly fire bullets into woman’s West Kerr Street house

Local

Light installation could delay Bell Tower Green opening, but formal event still set for Sept. 10

Kannapolis

Kannapolis restroom listed among top 10 in the country, vying for top spot

Business

Mixed-use development planned near Atrium Health Ballpark

Local

Little League softball: Rowan plays for regional championship, qualifies for World Series

Nation/World

CDC changes course on indoor masks in some parts of the US

Nation/World

Racism of rioters takes center stage in Jan. 6 hearing

News

State briefs: Woman accused of taking baby to break-in