Wednesday, 31 May 2017 16:14

City budget proposes 4 percent pay increase; no tax hike

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Roanoke Rapids City Council will consider a budget for the next fiscal year which contains no tax increase and proposes to give employees a 4 percent cost of living increase.

City Manager Joseph Scherer presented the outline of the financial plan to council this afternoon.
There is no installment financing proposed for the upcoming fiscal year. The balanced $15,648,682 budget does not use fund balance to make up for shortfalls.
Scherer said the proposed budget is $900,000 less than last year’s.
The proposed financial plan recommends “very few capital items,” he told council. The list for capital items includes a new vehicle for planning and development; a leaf machine for public works; two commercial mowers and an increase in funding for street repairs.
In his proposed budget message, the city manager said, “The annual budgets produced during the past few years had required a very careful approach to revenues. This resulted in severely reduced capital spending and cost of living adjustments.
“This year’s budget attempts to address some of the more critical needs in salary and cost of living adjustments to bring our most valued resource, our employees, closer to median salary levels in their fields.”

(The proposed budget will be available online Thursday and a detailed copy will be available in the clerk’s office at city hall for public inspection. The public hearing on the proposed plan is scheduled for June 6 at 5:15 p.m. at Lloyd Andrews City Meeting Hall on Jackson Street. Budget adoption is scheduled for 5:15 p.m. on June 20 at the Andrews building)

The city’s projected tax levy is $6.602 million down about 3 percent.
Proposed sales tax revenues are expected to increase by 2.15 percent in the upcoming fiscal year, the city manager said. The proposed utility franchise tax is expected to increase by 10 percent.
Proposed Powell Bill funds are expected to remain the same as last year — $463,891.
The city is not recommending an increase in solid waste fees.
Meanwhile, Scherer said there will be no increase in the city’s group health insurance and life insurance and eye care were combined at no additional cost.
“We continue to present a recommended annual budget that is balanced, protects the investments made in the past, fosters a work environment that ensures the safety of those who serve the city and provides for services as economically and efficiently as possible.”

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