Last updated: June 04. 2014 9:15AM - 499 Views
By - switten@civitasmedia.com

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RED SPRINGS — The Red Springs Board of Commissioners approved a budget on Tuesday that maintains the tax rate, gives employees a raise and creates a new position for the next fiscal year.

The proposed budget, which will take effect on July 1, is $9.49 million, up from $9.3 million from the current year.

Town Manager James Bennett said he tried to create a budget that would support existing services “while funding capital projects important to the growth of Red Springs.”

The budget keeps the tax rate at 64 cents for every $100 of worth of property, meaning the owner of a $100,000 home would pay the town $640 in property taxes.

The proposed budget includes a 1.5 percent cost-of-living adjustment for the town’s 49 employees. Last year, the board approved a 3 percent pay increase for the town’s employees — their first raise in six years.

The budget includes $49,500 for a new full-time code enforcement officer. The board on Tuesday decided to advertise the position with a plan to fill it after July 1. The town is currently paying $12,600 a year to the Lumber River Council of Governments for a part-time code enforcement officer. That contract ends on July 1.

The town has a tax collection rate of 89.4 percent, according to the Robeson County Tax Office. That is well below the state average of about 97 percent.

The town also collects about $157,000 a year in rental fees from the Sanfatex Building and about $11,500 from Community Building rentals. Red Springs earns another $20,000 annually from the town cemetery.

In other business, the board:

— Tabled as decision on locating a new $20,200 basketball court at the corner of Baldwin and Buie streets. Commissioners Murray McKeithan, Edward Henderson and Duron Burney will meet with the Red Springs Public Works Department to determine whether or not the basketball court would be vulnerable to flooding if located at the proposed site.

— The board approved a decision to put up for sale one of the town’s three fire trucks at a price of $20,000. That money would be put toward a down payment on a new fire truck.

The board also approved the sell of a garbage truck, with the stipulation that the city accept no less than $10,000 for it, and the sell of a bucket truck for $100,751.

— Action regarding a new golf cart ordinance was tabled because of concerns that it was too restrictive.

— Named Red Springs High School student Carin Tolentino as Student of the Month.

— Postponed honoring Margie Schmuckler Labadie for her work with the Red Springs Arts Council because she was unable to attend.

— Approved a new contract with Town Attorney Neil Yarborough.

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