Council moves on with projects

Jun. 19, 2013 @ 11:27 AM

Following quick approval Tuesday of a $38.1 million 2014 budget, City Council started work on several projects.

The 2014 Thomasville budget offers no property tax increase, but water and sewer customers will see a hike. The supplemental school tax rate will stay at 18 cents per $100 valuation to raise about $1.3 million for the schools. With little growth in tax revenues, the new budget grows slightly. Council approved the budget unanimously.

“A lot of work went into this,” said Mayor Joe Bennett.

The new budget creates a capital reserve fund for infrastructure at $150,000 a year for a maximum accumulation of $500,000.

“We have no specific use yet for the fund,” said Councilman Scott Styers. “All of us know of so many needs.”

The city used a similar fund for water and sewer improvements.

“That money came in handy,” said Councilman Raleigh York. “We are using it to pay for our well improvement project.”

In other budget related matters:

• Council dropped the 1/2-cent set aside for the fund balance.  The city has achieved the 20 percent fund balance goal, according to Tony Jarrett, city finance director. 

• The city will spend $25,000 for four or more bus stop shelters for customers of the free Thomasville fixed bus service operated by Davidson County. County commissioners did not approve a Congestion Mitigation Air Quality grant for the shelter project in April. The $80,000 grant would have required a $20,000 local match.

“We will look to get the shelters at the best cost,” said Councilman Joel Pierce.

• Council approved a request to the state to add 17 percent to a loan for the replacement of a large section of the North Hamby outfall line. The $3.2 million project would extend from the wastewater plant to the area of Carmalt and Amazon streets. 

“We want to be cost efficient,” Pierce said. “But the price was put together some time ago. We have to move forward on this.”

Postponed: Council postponed until July 15 public hearings on two small incentives projects about which there are few details. Project HEM is a merger of two companies, both of which plan to invest a total of $2.3 million and provide at least 30 jobs. Project Z13 offers a  proposed investment of $2 million to provide 11 jobs.

The city would provide a maximum total incentive of $62,500 over five years.

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Thomasville 2014 Budget

Total:  $38.1 million

Property Tax rate: 56 cents per $100 valuation. The owner of a $100,000 house would pay $560 a year.

Fees: The water and sewer rate will rise by about 3.59 percent in line with the city’s current rate study that identified about $14.5 million in infrastructure capital needs over the next five years.

Raises: City employees will get a 2 percent cost-of-living salary increase, but no merit raises.