06/19/13 — Fremont budget given OK by board

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Fremont budget given OK by board

By Matt Caulder
Published in News on June 19, 2013 1:46 PM

FREMONT -- The Board of Alderman approved the town's nearly $900,000 spending plan for 2013-14 on Tuesday night, which includes increased fees for trash, power and water in the next year.

Wayne Sanitary District increased its water purchase rate by about 10 percent -- an increase that the board is passing on to residents.

The base rate for power is increasing by $1.84 a month, making the new rate $12.25 a month, an increase of over $22 a year. That increase is to offset the expected $50,000 loss of electric revenue over the coming fiscal year, said Town Administrator Kerry McDuffie.

The charge for garbage collection is increasing from $16 to $18 in the coming fiscal year for people living within a mile of Fremont's city limits. City residents will still pay $14.

The $899,826 budget also includes a 0.7 percent cost of living salary increase for non-sworn city employees, while full-time sworn employees unanimously requested a YMCA membership in lieu of a pay raise in the 2013-14 fiscal year -- a request that was approved.

The budget includes $12,000 to increase the fund balance should it not be used elsewhere, and makes no appropriations for capital improvements as the budget is too tight.

A change in the uniform policy was made in the budget, removing the old system in which employees had to request uniforms from their department heads and that reimbursed public works employees $50 for the purchase of steel-toed boots each year.

It was found that $50 did not adequately reimburse the employees for their boots and that changes were necessary to make the uniform system easier for every department.

The new system will reimburse each public works employee and full-time police officer $300 for uniform needs, which they will order themselves.

Part-time officers will be reimbursed $100.

Also at the Board of Alderman meeting Tuesday the board made an amendment to the 2012-13 budget to allow for unexpected expenditures while also approving the 2013-14 budget at the meeting.

The 2012-13 budget amendment approved the withdrawal money from the fund balance to cover $55,000 to pay for electricity through the end of the fiscal year and $76,808 for the increase is sewer expenditures for sewer sent to Goldsboro to be processed.

After a public hearing, during which no one spoke, the board unanimously voted to approve the 2013-14 budget.

The budget will be very tight in the coming year, not leaving much room for differentiation from budgeted line items, said Mayor W. Darron Flowers.

The Board also approved the capital improvement plan, which is required by the North Carolina Department of Environmental and Natural Resources for the town wastewater collection system permit.

Finally, a request was approved for the Norwayne Alumni and Friends to close certain streets Aug. 31 for the annual alumni parade.

The requested streets will close at 9 a.m. that Saturday to line up for the one-and-a-half hour parade.

The parade will begin on Vance Street and continue to Main Street where it will go down the street and make a left onto Goldsboro Street.

After turning left onto Branch street the parade will take a right onto Sycamore Street before ending at Martin L. King Park.