05/17/05 — No one speaks against tax hike

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No one speaks against tax hike

By Matt Shaw
Published in News on May 17, 2005 1:45 PM

If Goldsboro property owners are worried about a proposed tax increase next year, they missed their chance to say so Monday night.

The City Council's hearing on the 2005-06 budget only attracted five speakers, all of whom asked the city to spend a little more, not less, next year.

Three board members of the Wayne County Historical Association want the city to increase its $5,000 contribution to help offset some repair needs.

The Waynesborough Histori-cal Village also asked for more money as it prepares for an increase of visitors.

And resident Mary Rhoe called for repairs to the bathhouse at Mina Weil Park. "It's a shame the way the city has allowed that bathhouse to get," she said.

The bathhouse won't be in next year's budget because the City Council agreed Monday night to do the work immediately. City Manager Joe Huffman bid the project and found that it would only cost $12,000 to fix the roof, replace outdated fixtures and make other repairs.

The work is expected to delay the need for a new bathhouse by 5-10 years, Huffman said.

The Historical Association is hoping for some money to help preserve the Wayne County Museum.

Emily Weil noted that, after the fires that destroyed the Community Building and Paramount Theater, the museum is one of the few historic and unique downtown buildings that is open to the public.

At least $12,000 is needed for roof repairs, said Gloria Flowers. The museum's interior gutter system is also faltering, allowing water to seep inside the building's walls. Also, the electric system hasn't been replaced since 1927.

The association's traditional ways of raising money won't cover these expenses, Mrs. Flowers said. "I can't make but so much lemonade to sell at Center Street Jams."

Incoming president Louis Mercer asked if the city could at least double its $5,000 contribution.

Lloyd Massey, president of the Waynesborough Historical Village, asked for more money to help the park prepare for a large upswing in visitors. The county is featured on the state's new Civil War trail, the park will be a stop on the Mountain-to-Sea Trail, and the new U.S. 117 will open soon, he noted.

The village had asked for $20,000 next year but is only slated to get $10,000.

City Council members did not comment on either request, but during work sessions, they have talked about the possibility of using money from the city's hotel tax to support tourist attractions.

The council will resume its budget discussion Thursday morning. The board still plans to approve the budget at its June 6 meeting.