DAVIDSON – The recommended town budget has a few fee changes for residents, but could have a bigger effect on recipients of town funds.
Davidson Finance Director Cynthia Jones presented the proposed finances to commissioners May 13. The $9.36 million budget keeps the current $0.35 per $100 valuation tax rate.
Storm water has a proposed raise in fees to fund storm water repair, maintenance costs and replenish reserves for future projects. The average household will see a $14.80 annual increase.
Residents in the town’s extra-territorial jurisdiction will see a one cent increase to their fire tax rate to help pay for providing four firefighters and EMTs 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Solid waste fees for multi-family units will see a decrease collection costs and apartment complexes won’t have to pay to rent dumpsters.
Thanks to responses from a recent survey, some fees that had previously been discussed as changing will not. Survey participants wanted to keep the current trash and recycling schedules, responding against reducing or increasing the frequency of trash or recycling services.
Residents wanting a second recycling container can receive one from Republic Services at a rate of $2.34 a month – the cost the town pays for each container, Jones said.
Survey participants also overwhelming opposed a tax increase for a new vacuum leaf collection service.
“It’s a good path to go down, but it may be too early to make a decision,” said Commissioner Beth Cashion, suggesting they reassess it each year.
The budget includes commissioner pay raises from $3,356 to $4,251 annually as previously discussed. Davidson commissioners were the least paid compared to other benchmark communities and this brings them to the next lowest amount.
Contingency expenses also include proposed merit increase for employees, tuition reimbursement and office space re-allocation.
The board plans to discuss how much money it will give to its service agencies.
Town Manager Leamon Brice has suggested decreasing its usual $50,000 spent on various organizations to $35,500.
The drop largely accounts for Brice’s recommendation to not pay the Ada Jenkins Center any of its requested $20,000 on top of the funds the town already gives them.
Brice said the town helps them get grants and pays to maintain the exterior building and grounds and covers utilities, which he said have occasionally gotten out of hand.
Cashion, who serves on the Ada Jenkins board, said the organization is soliciting funds from other towns whose residents receive services so support is more balanced and not weighing on Davidson.
Organizations potentially receiving funding include the Arts and Science Council, Davidson Lands Conservancy, DavidsonLearns, DHS, and Pies.
The board is scheduled to discuss the budget during its May 27 work session.