Maintenance a key factor
Maintenance will be an important part of Davidson’s budget for the coming fiscal year if the Board of Commissioners’ priority recommendations make it through the planning process.
Commissioners agreed Jan. 28 on a list of about 20 capital improvement projects and town enhancements that they would be willing to fund for the 2012 budget year. The board met for an all-day retreat at the Starrette Farm in Statesville.
In all, the cost for the items on the list is about $1.16 million. The items listed are those the town wants to fund, assuming the money is available.
The two largest capital improvement investments for 2012, based on the discussion at the retreat, are street resurfacing projects and replacement of police cars. Both of those items are long-term commitments, which the town plans to pay for over several years.
The town also plans to replace 35 air tank sets for the volunteer fire department, which will cost $175,000. According to Fire Chief Jeff Almond, the tanks should be replaced every 10 to 15 years. Davidson’s tanks are entering their 16th year.
In an effort to encourage and support its volunteers at the fire department, the board included on its list $10,000 for volunteer incentives.
Almond said the volunteer firefighters complete a significant amount of training each month, and those who keep up-to-date on their training deserve a reward.
“Those boys work hard, and on their own time,” he said.
Almond also recommended the town add a full-time fire chief position, in part because it’s difficult for him to work in Charlotte and fulfill the needs of the town.
The board chose not to include the fire chief on their list for this year, but urged staff to seek other funding to make the position permanent.
Other items on the list include:
• $100,000 in park and greenway maintenance and landscape improvements.
• $16,000 for maintenance to Town Hall.
• $60,000 for town parking initiatives.
• $20,000 for a town-wide health assessment.
The town’s recommendations also included rough plans through 2016. Renovating Fire Station 1 and building and equipping a second fire station are major projects looming in the next 5 years.