06/04/17 — Council to vote on budget

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Council to vote on budget

By Rochelle Moore
Published in News on June 4, 2017 9:04 AM

The Goldsboro City Council is set to vote on its fiscal 2017-18 budget Monday that holds the line on property taxes but establishes a new stormwater fee.

The budget vote is planned to take place during the council's regular meeting, at 7 p.m., in City Hall, 214 N. Center St.

The $59.3 million budget is recommended to maintain the property tax rate of 65 cents per $100 in valuation. No fee increases are planned for water, sewer or garbage.

The new stormwater fee will be $4.50 per month for residential and commercial property owners, starting July 1. In January, single-family residential property owners will continue to pay $4.50 per month while other properties will be billed based on the amount of impervious surface on the property.

The budget includes increasing council pay by about $489 per month for health insurance, said Kaye Scott, Goldsboro finance director. Each member of the council will be able to pay for the city's health insurance plan or use the money for any other purpose. The benefit increases the city budget by $41,076 for the seven members of the council, Scott said.

City employees are set to receive a 1 percent cost-of-living pay increase, which will cost $248,456 for the city's workforce of 456. Six new employee postitions will be added and early $1.8 million in vehicle purchases are planned.

Goldsboro Municipal Golf Course fees will increase by 10 percent, from $61.67 to $67.80, and golf cart fees will increase by $1.

The city budget is $1.3 million more than the current fiscal 2016-17 budget of nearly $58 million. Part of the increase is due to the addition of a new stormwater budget of $1 million. Occupancy tax revenues are also expected to increase by $200,000 in the coming year.

The city budget also includes investments in personnel and equipment for the future multisport complex. The city budget, along with fees, expenses and pay increases, goes into effect on July 1.

During the regular council meeting, the board plans to adopt an updated social media policy for city employees that defines social media content on city sites and personal accounts. The policy is an effort to better define employee use, while protecting free speech rights and avoiding activity that could be detrimental to the city and other employees.

In other matters, the council will consider:

* Adding a stormwater utility to the city's code of ordinances.

* Establishing capital project funds for street bonds and recreation bonds, stemming from the voter-approved $10 million bond package supporting road resurfacing and development of the multisport complex.

* Seeking a Federal Clean Water State Revolving Fund Loan for water system improvements, designed to enhance drinking water supplies, for a future project estimated to cost $1.8 million.

* Accepting a Clean Water State Revolving Fund loan of nearly $6.27 million, with $500,000 in principal forgiveness, at a zero interest rate for 20 years. The funding will support phase four of the city's sewer collection rehabilitation project.

* An agreement to reimburse Wayne County $425,000 for the construction of a shell building in the ParkEast business and industrial park, a 400-acre site along Gateway Drive.

The building would be owned by Wayne County and marketed by the Wayne County Development Alliance. The agreement includes a city commitment to not annex the property until seven years after the building is leased to a tenant.

* Entering into an agreement with Wayne County and WCDA to develop a future industrial park, in an effort to lure new industry and jobs to the area.

Crystal Gettys, WCDA president, said negotiations for an option to purchase a 100-acre property are underway.

The agreement includes the city's commitment to install water and sewer lines to the property. The city would also agree to not annex the site.

Prior to the regular meeting, the council will have a 5 p.m. work session in the City Hall annex, at 200 N. Center St. The council plans to review the regular meeting agenda and discuss wind chimes in downtown, a Goldsboro Housing Authority project and the summer youth employment program.