05/17/06 — No new taxes for Fremont

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No new taxes for Fremont

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on May 17, 2006 1:50 PM

FREMONT -- Fremont residents will not pay any more for property taxes or for water and sewer and electricity in a proposed budget for 2006-07.

Town Administrator Kerry McDuffie gave the six town aldermen their first looks at his balanced budget during Tuesday night's monthly town board meeting.

"It's not an ideal budget, but it's a reasonable budget," McDuffie said.

The tax rate remained at 65 cents for the third year.

The budget includes a 6 percent pay raise for town employees between a cost-of-living adjustment and a merit increase.

The board will continue to study the proposed budget during a workshop meeting at 7 p.m. May 30.

McDuffie said he wanted a public hearing on the budget during the next monthly meeting on June 20.

Also during Tuesday's meeting, Walter J. Marm, a Congressional Medal of Honor winner from Fremont, was sworn in Tuesday night as the newest member of the N.C. Veterans Affairs Commission.

Marm was appointed by Gov. Mike Easley to the four-year post. With his wife, Deborah, holding the Bible, Marm was sworn in by Fremont Mayor Devone Jones.

"This is an honor for Fremont to have one of its citizens appointed by the governor and sworn in to the Veterans Commission," Jones said.

Marm explained that the commission has 13 members, one from each of the state's congressional districts, and meets three or four times a year.

Another Fremont resident, Jimmy Aycock, was honored with a resolution of appreciation that was passed by the town board for his 40 years of dedicated service to the community.

The resolution said Aycock, a singer, had given unselfishly of his time and energy. He was not present for the ceremony.

The town board passed two ordinances. One established a curfew of 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. every day for people under the age of 18. The other ordinance prohibits begging and panhandling on town streets and property.

The curfew ordinance was discussed in April but was tabled until May so that the town's attorney, James Cauley of Wilson, could review it.

The ordinance contains such exceptions as a child accompanied by a parent, a medical emergency, a job requirement, a sports event, school and religious activities and authorized travel through town.

Violation of either ordinance could result in punishment through the courts.

In other business:

*The board passed a resolution that renewed the town's 10-year solid-waste plan.

*Public Works Director Tim Howell said obstructions that limited views were removed from three intersection and improvements were 90 percent complete at the tennis and basketball courts.

*Police Chief Wayne Schwark said the "Buckle Up in Trucks" campaign started Sunday and extends through next Sunday and the annual "Click or Ticket" campaign will start in late May.

*Alderman Leroy Ruffin asked the town to develop "a watchdog community" to take care of problems before they started. Alderman Billy Harvey said citizens could help the police combat crime with their eyes and ears.