ROWLAND — The Rowland Board of Commissioners decided on Tuesday that it will take a hard look at all the town’s departments with an eye on reducing spending and that it will delay discussion of mid-year pay raises for employees.
Town Clerk Blake Proctor said during a 29-minute board meeting that he would immediately begin discussions with the commissioners and department heads to look for places in the budget where the town can save money. The action came on a recommendation from Local Government Commission following an audit.
“It’s kind of disheartening to see this budget out of whack like it is,” Commissioner Paul Hunt said.
Proctor said that each of the town’s departments will now go through a “pre-audit” for expenses in excess of $250. Any large expenses will need to be approved by board, Proctor said. The board also decided not to deal with mid-year pay raises until its next meeting.
The commissioners also passed a resolution to oppose legislation that would allow the state to forcibly take over municipal water systems.
The North Carolina League of Municipalities requested the action after legislation was passed in 2011 allowing the state to take ownership of the City of Asheville’s water system. Proctors aid the General Assembly is considering legislation that could force any municipality to consolidate water systems with a county system.
In other action on Tuesday, the board:
— Heard a presentation from Paula Hester of the Lumber River Council of Governments about its operations and programs.
— Announced that Federal Emergency Management Agency has delayed a payment of $11,500 to the town that was spent following a tornado. The delay is because of ongoing Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. The town now expects to be reimbursed in March.