St. Pauls sets budget hearing for June 26

By: By David Bradley - Staff writer
St. Pauls Commissioner Annie Stephens, left, looks over the budget draft Thursday with Town Adminsitrator J.R. Steigerwald.
St Pauls Board of Commissioners members Dawn Patterson, left, Debbie Inman, Annie Stephens, and Town Administrator J.R. Steigerwald flip through the amendments to last year’s budget before turning to the 2018-2019 budget draft.

ST PAULS — The St. Pauls Board of Commissioners continued its work Thursday on a proposed $2.8 million fiscal year 2018-19 budget.

There was good news.

“This is an evaluation year,” Town Administrator J.R. Steigerwald said. “…. The current budget isn’t showing the tax income from Pepsi and Sanderson Farms. The tax revenue we’re getting from them means we probably won’t have to raise taxes for 10 years.”

The commissioners scheduled a public hearing on the spending plan for 7 p.m. on June 26.

The commissioners were told Thursday the Public Works Department is hiring three people who had lost their jobs with other employers after Hurricane Matthew struck in October 2016. The Lumber River Council of Governments supplied the workers after they completed a jobs-training program.

“We decided to hire them after they were trained,” Commissioner Debbie Inman said. “They’ve really been good for us.”

The town made a temporary job into a permanent full-time position in the town front office.

The proposed budget shows the spending of $84,000 for a new backhoe and the purchase of an excavator for $54,000, Steigerwald said.

Grants coming into the town include $28,000 from the state Legislature thanks to the work of Sen. Danny Britt and Rep. Brendan Jones, Steigerwald said. The money already has been used to pay for library renovations and to help buy an excavator.

At one point, Commissioner Evans Jackson turned the discussion to the electronic gaming industry.

“We have an ordinance about it,” he said. “The industry claims it’s legal. If it’s legal, we can tax the machines. If it’s not, we can’t tax them.”

“I’ve had six calls in three days about this, about getting them here,” Steigerwald said. “I have to check with our attorney.”

Mayor Jerry Weindel said it would be nice to be able collect fees for the machines.

In other business, the commissioners:

— Approved a transfer of funds to correct problems in last year’s audit related to software issues the town has had.

— Approved adding funds to the 2017-18 budget to pay for the code enforcement officer’s hours that went higher than expected.

— Approved a request for $11,000 to pay for repairs to the fire station’s driveway.

— Was told the St Pauls library will have its grand re-opening on June 26 at 11 a.m.

St. Pauls Commissioner Annie Stephens, left, looks over the budget draft Thursday with Town Adminsitrator J.R. Steigerwald.
https://www.robesonian.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_st-pauls-board-members_ne201861422473763-1.jpgSt. Pauls Commissioner Annie Stephens, left, looks over the budget draft Thursday with Town Adminsitrator J.R. Steigerwald.

St Pauls Board of Commissioners members Dawn Patterson, left, Debbie Inman, Annie Stephens, and Town Administrator J.R. Steigerwald flip through the amendments to last year’s budget before turning to the 2018-2019 budget draft.
https://www.robesonian.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_st-pauls-board-reduce_ne2018614224738959-1.jpgSt Pauls Board of Commissioners members Dawn Patterson, left, Debbie Inman, Annie Stephens, and Town Administrator J.R. Steigerwald flip through the amendments to last year’s budget before turning to the 2018-2019 budget draft.

By David Bradley

Staff writer

Reach David at 910-416-5182 or [email protected]

Reach David at 910-416-5182 or [email protected]