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BOONE — The Boone Town Council will hold a web conference meeting beginning at 9 a.m. June 4 to consider items carried over from a May 21 meeting agenda and to discuss Town Manager John Ward’s proposed 2020-2021 budget.

The total proposed budget, including the General Fund, Water and Sewer Fund and other funds, is proposed at $27,173,333, which would be about $1.57 million less than the approved 2019-2020 fiscal year budget.

Amid revenue shortfalls as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and related closures, Ward proposes that the town allocate $1,190,000 from its fund balance to help balance the budget and maintain current service levels without a proposed property tax increase.

No staff pay raises are recommended, and the budget proposal delays the majority of capital outlay involving vehicle and equipment replacement, according to Ward’s budget message.

The property tax rate would remain the same under the proposal, at 41 cents per $100 valuation, and no water and sewer rate increases are recommended.

“While the most recent water and sewer rate study called for increases in water and sewer rates both last year and this year in order to provide funding for capital improvements in our aging system, there are no proposed increases at this time,” the budget message stated. “Staff were successful in working with the High Country Council of Governments in securing a $2 million grant for the Deck Hill water tank. This grant allows water and sewer rate increases to be delayed.”

In addition to helping make up for revenue shortfalls, the $1.19 million from the fund balance would be used to provide $115,000 to outside agencies, spend $25,000 for masks for public distribution and $50,000 for the Grove Street Connector project.

A public hearing will be scheduled at a later date prior to the budget’s consideration and approval by the council.

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(1) comment

hlindsay@carolina.rr.com

In tight times, private business control ALL costs and learns how to do more with less (become more productive), but I don't get a sense that this is happening in Boone. I hear about capital expenses being pushed and no raises (got to laugh at that one while businesses hurt by the pandemic will NOT get a pay check at all) for employees, but nothing about reducing labor costs.

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