06/01/09 — Council will vote on city budget

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Council will vote on city budget

By Catharin Shepard
Published in News on June 1, 2009 1:46 PM

Goldsboro City Council members are expected to vote tonight on the proposed 2009-10 city budget.

Based on the previous budget meetings, which began in April, several adjustments have been made to the original version of the proposed budget.

Goldsboro residents can expect to see about a $10 monthly increase in their utility bills, based on the provisions of the budget.

The refuse revenue line item was adjusted by $558,721 based on a proposed rate increase in residential and commercial garbage rates. If the budget is approved, utility bills will reflect an increase of $3.25 per month for residential customers, while commercial customers who utilize dumpsters will see an increase from $4.15 to $5.50 per cubic yard.

Water and sewer bills would also go up, reflecting a 15 percent increase in water usage rates and a further $3.75 increase to the base water rate. Sewer rates would increase by 5 percent.

The utility increases will generate an estimated $896,033, to be placed in the Utility Fund. The budget also includes removing a $20,000 piece of equipment previously included in the water plant budget.

If the budget is approved, city employees will no longer receive longevity pay, but will instead receive pay based on merit. The city manager's budget includes $200,000 to cover the merit pay increase.

The budget also reflects a $4,000 decrease in funding for communications and marketing, a $4,300 decrease in honorarium salaries and an increase of $3,500 for the annual city employee Christmas party.

The proposed tax increase was removed from the budget.

No budget for the upcoming fiscal year can be implemented without formal adoption of the ordinance. The City Council must approve a budget by July.

In other business, the council members will vote on several planning items as part of the consent agenda, including a proposed rezoning that would allow the Eastern Carolina Regional Housing Authority to operate a new office center at the northeast corner of South Slocumb Street and Seymour Drive and a rezoning proposed by R.E. Godbey that would change the southeast corner of East Ash Street and Piedmont Airline Road from Residential-16 and Noise Overlay to General Business and Noise Overlay.

The council will vote individually on a proposed rezoning that would allow the operation of a window tinting business on the north side of U.S. 70 East between the East Ash Street Extension and Millers Chapel Road.

Julie Thompson, director of the Downtown Goldsboro Development Corp., is expected to address the council about the Union Station architect selection process and the downtown street closing policy during the 5 p.m. work session. Finance Director Kaye Scott is on the work session agenda to discuss utility reduction specialists, and Marty Anderson, director of engineering will discuss traffic control matters.

The City Council meeting will be at 7 p.m. Monday night at the city hall addition on Center Street.