06/17/09 — Fremont council passes budget

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Fremont council passes budget

By Laura Collins
Published in News on June 17, 2009 1:46 PM

FREMONT -- The Fremont Board of Aldermen approved the town's 2009-10 budget Tuesday night.

The new budget does not include any tax or utility fees increases. Members of the audience at the meeting commended the board for being able to keep taxes down in the current economy.

The budget did include a 10-percent pay increase for the mayor and board members. The mayor will receive about $240 more next year and each board member will receive about $180 more. Town Administrator Kerry McDuffie said the raises are an effort to keep what the board members receive level with the town employee pay raises.

"(The board members) are not getting rich," he said. "If you look at the last time since they've received an increase and you look at the increases the employees have received since then, it's about a 10 percent increase."

The budget also provides a 1.5-percent cost of living salary increase for employees, a 1.5-percent bonus for full-time employees and a $100 bonus for part-time employees that average at least 30 hours per month.

Also at the meeting, some residents expressed their disappointment over a decision to deny a rezoning request.

Takisha Coley had requested a vacant lot at 513 S. Vance St., which is next to her house, be rezoned from residential to general business. She said she wanted to open a small community store for youth in Fremont.

"This community store would benefit the Town of Fremont because it would keep the youth from crossing the busy highway to go to the store and deter the cause of accidents or even deaths. Also, this store would enhance the economy for more spending," Coley said in a letter to the board members.

Mayor Devone Jones defended the board's decision by saying, "We're just following (zoning) rules and regulations."

Board member Leroy Ruffin added that he likes the idea for the store but would like to see it in a business zone.