Proposed budget includes new positions, employee raises

May. 20, 2014 @ 10:17 AM

City Manager Strib Boynton unveiled his proposed 2014-15 fiscal year budget for the City Council Monday.
At $341.1 million, the proposed spending plan is $2.09 million, or 0.6 percent, less than the current budget of $343.2 million.
It would lower the property tax rate from 67.5 cents to 66.7 cents per $100 of assessed value, but raise garbage collection fees to a net total of $2 per month.
Electric rates would increase 1.8 percent and water and sewer rates would increase 3 percent.
Highlights of the budget proposal include:
• Pay raises for city employees of 1 to 3 percent, depending on merit. The cost of the raises would be $1.165 million.
• Nine new city positions, including a deputy city clerk, animal control officer and various positions in the electric, public services, transportation and parks and recreation departments. The cost of the new positions would be $484,019.
Officials said the new animal control officer should help the police department respond to one of its top calls for service. The department has two full-time animal control officers, but they do not cover weekend shifts. Officials said the new officer will do so.
• Plans to purchase six large pieces of equipment for the city’s landfill, as well as garbage and wastewater functions, at a total cost of $1.5 million.
• Federal housing funds of $1.35 million for a future development in the core city. Council recently declined to use these funds for a north High Point project in favor of directing the funds to the core.
• A total of $95,000 for upgrades to the High Point Theatre and $75,000 for increased artist fees, as recommended by a citizens committee that studied the theater.
• About $2 million for replacement of obsolete water and sewer lines and $1 million for resurfacing of neighborhood streets.
• High Point Market Authority funding would be maintained at $1 million and $415,063 in funding for outside nonprofit agencies, up from the current level of $338,563.
Council will begin a series of budget reviews next week in which they may modify Boynton’s recommendations.
Public hearings on the budget are scheduled for June 2 and June 5, with adoption by council slated for June 16.