The Franklin Town Board of Aldermen met last night for a budget work session with the town manager. I have transcribed the budget message and placed it below, and then a copy of the budget has been embedded below that, and it is downloadable so that you can download it and keep it for your records. Any mistakes in the transcription posted below are mine. I made a few cosmetic changes for an improved presentation on this blog.
I was not present during this meeting, and set up a video camera to record the meeting while I was manning another camera across town at a meeting of the Macon County Board of Commissioners. I would like to thank Travis Tallent of the Macon County News for keeping an eye on the camera for me.
The Town of Franklin remains in a solid financial condition with a stable fund balance and a current ad-valorem tax rate of $0.25 per $100. The overall slow recovery of the economy has essentially resulted in very slow growth in our revenue sources, especially sales tax and interest on investments. Although there are many issues for consideration by the North Carolina legislature that may have profound effects on municipalities and possibly our funding sources, this budget was developed based on current conditions. Any significant changes that develop at a later date concerning municipalities will require further consideration and subsequent action.
All debt payments are fully budgeted as required by law. The Town is completing the sewer plant renovation which will be complete by mid-summer and the additional debt service for this project is included within this budget.
This budget calls for a 2% cost of living adjustment for all positions. One salaried management position in the fire department budget will be divided into two entry level staff positions. In lieu of replacing a full-time employee in the Streets Department, funds are allocated to hire a part-time employee to assist with mowing and general maintenance during the Spring and Summer months. Employee benefits will remain unchanged.
Operating Capital Outlay
The police department will be replacing two patrol vehicles with over 100,000 miles. Public works will replace one 1/2 ton pickup that was delayed from being purchased in 2013/2013, and a new leaf collection vacuum will be purchased to coincide with a leaf collection box purchased for an existing truck.
Funds are budgeted for upgrades to the gazebo area at Town Square and to initiate planning for possible uses of the Whitmire property.
Water/Sewer: Funds are budgeted for four small water and sewer replacement projects. Funds are budgeted for refurbishment of the belt press at the sewer plant. Funds are also budgeted for a flow study ofn the Cartoogechaye Creek in anticipation of planning for the water plant upgrade/expansion in the next five years.
Police Department: Bulletproof vests that are nearing expiration will be replaced. Funds were increased for fuel costs and increased vehicle maintenance.
Fire Department: replacement of uniforms and protective gear per the 10 year strategic plan continues.
The Board of Aldermen initiated a water and sewer rate increase last fiscal year to be completed over a two year period. This budget anticipates completing that rate increase process this year resulting in an increase for residential water services inside the city limits from $1.90 to $2.50 per 1,000 gallons of usage and an increase for residential sewer services inside the city limits from $0.27 per 100 gallons usage to $0.35 per 100 gallons usage. The increases are necessary to fund debt service on the new sewer plant renovation and provide funding for future water treatment facility renovations. The disposal fee for septic waste accepted at the sewer treatment plant should also be changed from $50 per load to $0.05 per gallon to fairly distribute expenses based on truck capacities.
This budget for FY 2013/2014 is balanced in accordance with the North carolina Local Government Budget and Fiscal Control Act and continues to provide existing services while meeting the governing board's priorities and policies. No property tax increase is requested or recommended and the ad valorem tax rate should remain at twenty-fice cents ($0.25) per one hundred dollars ($100) of valuation.
Warren J. Cabe