Dobson approves budget, little changes

First Posted: 6/25/2009

DOBSON The Dobson Board of Commissioners approved a proposed budget of a little more than $4 million for the 2009-2010 fiscal year after only a few comments were made at a public hearing yesterday.
The board approved the proposed budget of $4,046,552, which includes no tax or water and sewer increases, after listening to one citizen express concerns that the budget may estimate too high of a sales tax increase in the upcoming fiscal year.
The budget estimates a more than 5-percent increase in sales tax.
I think the projected income from the sales tax is way too high, said Jonathan Snow, a Dobson resident.
Commissioner Wayne Atkins said that the town manager informed him she obtained the estimates from the North Carolina League of Municipalities. He said he thought that the sales revenue in Dobson could hold up to the estimate.
I have heard businesses say differently (about sales), Snow responded.
Atkins said he thought the towns revenues and expenses could offset each other to accommodate the projection.
Although there wasnt a proposal to increase water rates, Mayor Ricky Draughn said the topic will most likely be addressed in the next couple of months.
Last week, Atkins told the board that in the proposed budget, the town manager had suggested transferring $65,000 from the general fund to the water-sewer budget of $135,948 to balance it.
At that point, Draughn suggested the board review whether or not it should increase the water rate to supplement the water bill. He said he didnt agree with subsidizing the water bill from the general fund.
In February 2008, the rates increased from $1.90 per 1,000 gallons of water to $2.50 per 1,000 gallons.
The approved budget stated that revenues in the amount of $1,160,700 are required to finance the proposed expenditures of several departments within the general fund budget of $4,046,552. Estimated property taxes are projected to provide about 41 percent of the revenue based on an estimated assessed valuation of $127,600,800 at .38 cents per $100 with a 98-percent collection rate and a levy of $476,000. A portion of revenue from taxes collected by the state are refunded to the town, which includes about $493,000 or 42.4 percent from the ABC Store, interest on investments, occupancy taxes and other miscellaneous income totaling $162,1000 or 13.96 percent. The remainder of the revenues required, $29,600 or 2.55 percent, is provided from the fund balance.
The approved budget is 5.6 percent higher from the 2008-2009 budget because of payments on the library building and salary adjustments. There was no cost-of-living adjustment for the 2009-2010 fiscal year.
Major projects listed in the budget includes the 601/Inter-connect Project and the revitalization of the downtown area.
The Capital Projects Fund is $1,687,659 and is restricted to be used to pay for sewer and water line extensions for the 601/Inter-connect Project. The funds are made up of a $500,000 grant from the North Carolina Rural Center and a contribution from Surry County, and a loan from the United States Department of Agriculture.
The project includes Dobson extending the towns water service to connect with that of Mount Airy. The interconnection will start at the end of Mount Airys existing distribution around the former Allison Tree store along Old U.S. 601 and Piney Grove Road. Dobson is also contracting to sell water to Surry County.
The board approved three budget amendments that did not change the amount of the proposed budget of $4,046,552. The changes included adjusting the contingency account from $12,600 to zero. Three-hundred dollars were added to the librarys budget of $2,000, making it $2,300. The board also agreed to add $12,300 to the Dobson Police Departments budget of $29,000 to make it $41,300.
Unrelated to the budget, the board also approved a request from Monte Vista Properties, LLC to rezone property east of Main Street to build an affordable housing subdivision.
A representative from the development company said that the homes would be for families with a household income of $40,000 to $50,000 range. The representative asked the board if it would partner with the developer to see the project through in a timely manner.
The board also agreed to give the Dobson Boy Scout Troop #529 $150 for the next fiscal year and adopted a resolution accepting and endorsing Solid Waste Management Plan of 2009 for Surry County.
Contact Erin C. Perkins at [email protected] or 719-1952.

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