HARRISBURG, N.C., June 13, 2017– Town Manager Haynes Brigman presented FY2017-2018 budget recommendation for approval to the Harrisburg Town Council on Monday, June 12. The Town wide budget totals $35,732,370 for General Fund, Capital Reserve Fund, Capital Project Fund, Storm Water Fund, and Water and Sewer Fund. “Careful consideration was given to providing the highest quality services to our citizens in the most efficient and effective manner, while also balancing the increased service demands and needs of our growing community.” said Brigman. The FY2018 budget is proposed without a tax increase, which will keep the total tax rate at $0.29 per $100 valuation ($0.1585 for general services, and $0.1315 for fire services), among the lowest in the region.
The total proposed General Fund expenses for FY2018 are $12,666,400, a 23% decrease over FY2017. This decrease in overall fund expenses is due to the completion of several capital purchases and the elimination of a potential park land acquisition that were scheduled in the FY2017 budget. Operating expenses within the General Fund increased by 4%, mostly due to the addition of new staff positions and increased programming costs.
Highlights of the budget which was approved by Council in a 5-2 vote included the following:
- No proposed increase in ad valorem tax rate
- Slight increase in most Departments operating budgets
- Service levels are expected to remain the same, or increase slightly, from current year
- Increased Debt Service Payments due to construction of Fire Station #2 and new Public Works Facility; as well as costs for purchasing the remaining suites of Town Hall
- Large increase in Solid Waste Collection Costs due to growing housing count and increased contract costs
- Continued Implementation of Capital Reserve Fund and Capital Improvement Plan
- Added personnel to keep up with service expectations
Monday’s meeting also included an approval of a general obligation bond referendum that gives voters the power to decide if a municipality should be authorized to raise funds through the sale of bonds. General obligation bonds allow a Town to pledge their taxing authority to cover debt payments associated with the capital projects. Based on community feedback the Town has outlined $25 million in capital projects to be funded by bonds. Questions are placed on the November ballot for voters to consider approval or denial based on these categories and descriptions of project expenses.
- $21,000,000 of bonds to pay the costs of acquiring, constructing, renovating, expanding and improving parks and recreation facilities, including constructing a community center, expanding existing parks, acquiring land for future park and recreation facilities and acquiring any necessary furnishing and equipment, land, rights-of-way and easements in land required therefor.
- $4,000,000 of bonds to pay the capital costs of acquiring, constructing, reconstructing, widening, extending, paving, resurfacing, grading and improving streets and sidewalks, including curbs, gutters, drains, bridges, overpasses, underpasses and grade crossings, related landscaping, lighting and traffic controls, signals and markers and the acquisition of land, rights-of-way and easements in land required therefor.
The Town will hold Public Hearings to adopt bond orders as well as host a Community Chat with residents later this summer to provide additional information.