05/15/05 — Public hearing on budget is Monday

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Public hearing on budget is Monday

By Matt Shaw
Published in News on May 15, 2005 2:01 AM

Goldsboro City Council members are still discussing how they feel about the city's proposed budget for 2005-2006.

City residents will have a chance Monday night to get into the conversation. A public hearing on the $41 million spending plan will begin shortly after 7 p.m. at City Hall.

The council held two budget work sessions last week. At the end of Thursday's meeting, council members decided to postpone any talk of budget cuts until after they heard from the public.

Budget hearings often don't draw crowds, but Monday could be different. The proposed budget would require a five-cent increase in the property tax rate -- from 60-cents-per-$100 valuation to 65-cents. That would mean a $35 increase for the owner of a $70,000 home; $120 for a $120,000 home; and $200 for a $200,000 home.

City residents also pay county taxes. Wayne County officials have not yet announced how their tax rate might change next year.

The city budget would also raise sewer rates 15 percent. An average family household would see its bill go up around $2.80 a month.

The council is also considering going to a flat rate for water users. Currently, companies that use more than 9,000 cubic feet of water in a month get a discount. A flat rate would primarily affect about two dozen customers.

About 31 percent of the city budget goes toward public works; 17 percent to police; 13 percent to general services; 10 percent to fire; 7 percent to recreation and 7 percent to capital projects. Other city departments split the remaining funds.

The 2005-06 budget must be approved before July 1, the start of the fiscal year. The City Council is tentatively planning to vote at its June 6 meeting.

Other hearings

The council has four other issues scheduled for hearings.

The owner of Raper Discount Drugs on Wayne Memorial Drive is seeking a zoning change that would permit the store to have a larger sign.

Erma Thompson wants the city to rezone 11 acres on the north side of Belfast Road for industrial or commercial uses. The tract is part of a larger property that was split by the new U.S. 117.

Elma Lofton has asked for a conditional-use permit that would allow construction of an eight-unit apartment complex on the east side of John Street, directly across from Graham Street. The complex is intended to serve elderly clients.

Finally, Dwight and Elizabeth Sutton are seeking permission to open a beach bingo establishment in North Plaza shopping center, which is on Spence Avenue across from Wal-Mart. The bingo parlor would be in between Mitchell's Hair Styling Academy and Dollar General and would generally be open only in the evening and Sunday afternoon.