Blair Knox, the town manager of Pilot Mountain, said this year’s budget presented “unprecedented opportunities for the town” and “we are finally seeing the fruits of many years of labor by the Pilot Mountain Board of Commissioners, staff and multitude of volunteers.”
“I am exceedingly proud to report the town is on its way,” he told the board Monday night.
The general fund operating expenses in the budget have only increased by about $5,000 for 2009-2010 fiscal year and the town’s water/sewer fund is being subsidized by the general fund in the amount of $49,645.
The water rate will remain at the following: For the use of up to 2,000 gallons the cost is $16.80 in town and $33.60 out of town. The cost of sewer is $13.58 for such usage in or out of town. The water rate for using 2,001 to 7,000 gallons is $33.60 in town and $67.20 out of town. The cost of sewer with those amounts of usage is $27.16 in or out of town.
For the next 3,000 gallons of water used the cost is $3.48 per 1,000 gallons in town and $6.96 per 1,000 gallons out of town. The cost of sewer at that usage is $3.88 per 1,000 gallons in or out of town.
The tax rate will remain at 56 cents per $100 of assessed valued.
Other highlights of the 2009-2010 budget, Mayor Earl Sheppard mentioned included that the budget is balanced with the total general fund revenue of $1,547,000 and the total general fund expenditures of $1,547,000. Also, there is a 2 percent cost of living increase for town employees.
Because of an increase in health insurance cost the town reduced its health care coverage and one of the major changes from last year was Powell Bill revenues dropping 11 percent due to a drop in motor fuel taxes in North Carolina. The Powell Bill is funding for maintenance and repairs of streets and sidewalk repairs.
Knox said upcoming grants of $1,325,045 will create a consistent revenue for the town, which will help with its plans of economic development. Those plans include building an ABC store on Veterans Drive later this year, and the Pilot Center.
The Pilot Center, a branch of Surry Community College, is one of a number of projects being funding through a $2 million grant from Golden LEAF Foundation to Surry County. The college will spend about $400,000 to operate the satellite campus in Pilot Mountain, with an additional $500,000 being spent on renovations, and Surry County helping to purchase the building.
Some of the grants Pilot Mountain is receiving include two NC Rural Center Infrastructure grants ($21,454 and $30, 886), North Carolina Department of Transportation Safe Routes to School ($159,600), and a NC STEP/ Rural Center/NCDOT Downtown Walkability grant ($85,000).
Some of the other upcoming projects for the town include annexation of Veterans Drive, the construction of the new Pilot Mountain Middle School, renovation of the current middle school into an elementary school and acquisition of the Amos and Smith property to become the Pilot Center.
In other business, Dickie Crump, the owner of the Squeeze Box, addressed the board about a drainage issue with new curbing in front of his business.
He said the water is not properly flowing along, and he wants the board to take further action to fix the problem.
Mayor Sheppard, who said he looked at the issue earlier that day, said the town would have an engineer take a look at the curbing.
Doug Brannon, with the ABC board, also addressed the commissioners about its ABC construction plans. He told the board there are two vacancies on the state ABC commission that need to be filled before it can vote on the town’s site for the new ABC store. He said that hopefully Gov. Bev Perdue will appoint individuals to those positions so that the town can seek approval and move forward with its plans.
The board also agreed to adopt a resolution from Solid Waste Management to update a 20-year Water and Sewer System CIP and comprehensive water system feasibility study.
The next town board meeting is scheduled on July 20 at 7 p.m. Meetings are open to the public and held in town hall.
Contact Erin C. Perkins at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1952.