The Rockingham City Council at its Tuesday meeting set the date for a public hearing on the city’s proposed spending plan for the next fiscal year, a general fund budget of about $9.1 million.
The public hearing on the proposed 2013-2014 Fiscal Year Budget will be held as part of the City Council’s next regular meeting on Tuesday, June 11, at City Hall. The meetings begin at 7:30 p.m.
City Manager Monty Crump recently presented copies of the budget proposal to members of the council.
Prepared by Crump, Finance Director Hazel Tew and staff, the proposed budget calls for no tax increase for city property owners. The city’s current tax rate is .48 cents per $100 of valuation, and has been that rate since the 2003-2004 budget year.
Crump noted that a copy of the budget proposal is on file in the City Clerk’s office and available for public inspection. City Hall is at 514 Rockingham Road.
The proposed general fund budget for 2013-14 amounts to $9,118,302, an increase of $259,378 over the 2012-13 general fund budget of $8,858,924.
“The primary goal for 2013/2014 is to continue to provide the same level of services to our citizens and customers as current year in a cost effective and efficient manner,” Crump wrote in his report on the budget.
The proposed budget shows a total of 131 full-time positions fully funded for the coming fiscal year.
For the second time in four years the proposed 2013-14 budget contains a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for city employees in the amount of 2 percent.
There may be some tweaking to the budget proposal as City Council also scheduled a budget work session and planning retreat for May 30 at Hinson Lake.
Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the City Council unanimously granted a request to rezone about 2.14 acres at 156 Bateman Street, from Highway Business (B-3) to Residential Mill Village (R-7A).
Anthony James Sidoti made the request. The subject property consists of two lots; Sidoti’s residence is on one lot and the other lot is vacant. Sidoti wants to give the vacant lot to his daughter for a home site, but the current B-3 zoning would not allow for single-family residential use.
The report notes that the property is the only land on Bateman Street zoned B-3. All other properties with frontage on Bateman Street are zoned R-7A. The previous owner of the property repaired vehicles in a building behind the residence on the property. This may explain why the property is zoned B-3. The vehicle repair operation no longer occurs on the property.
Both the Planning Board and the planning staff recommended the rezoning be approved.
In other matters at Tuesday’s meeting, the City Council:
• Heard a presentation of the 2013 Strategic Plan for Richmond County: Vision 2020, by Kenneth Robinette, chairman of the Richmond County Board of Commissioners, along with Dale McInnis, president of Richmond Community College. The comprehensive plan hopes to spur 700 new jobs to the area in the next seven years. The plan helped identify the county’s assets, challenges and goals, and how growth can be achieved. The plan in part hopes to improve educational opportunities, increase economic development and job creation, and help to make Richmond County more of a tourist destination.
• Approved request from the Town of Dobbins Heights for Rockingham to donate a surplus pick-up truck to the municipality for use in doing small jobs throughout the town.
• Heard that at 11 a.m. Thursday at the old county courthouse downtown a ceremony will be held to honor fallen law enforcement officers. Police Chief Billy Kelly will be the event speaker.
• Heard Mayor Steve Morris proclaim Saturday, May 25, 2013, as a day to honor our deceased veterans, in conjunction with Memorial Day ceremonies and observances.
— Editor John Charles Robbins can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 13, or by email at email@example.com.