St. Pauls approves budget that keeps tax rate, bumps some fees, includes pay hike

By: T.C. Hunter - Managing editor

ST. PAULS — The St. Pauls Board of Commissioners here gave final approval Thursday to $3.9 million budget for fiscal year 2019-20 that includes a 3 percent cost-of-living pay hike for town employees.

The spending plan includes a $2 per month increase in water and wastewater fees for the first 2,000 gallons of usage, Town Administrator Rodney Johnson said. The budget also calls for the solid waste and garbage service fees to increase from $17 to $19 per month.

The budget, which goes into effect July 1, keeps the property tax rate at the current level of 65 cents per $100 of property value, he said. That means the owner of the $100,000 home would pay $650 a year in property taxes.

There is no money for large capital improvement projects in the spending plan because the town is waiting on reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and state emergency management for money already spent to repair damage from hurricanes Matthew and Florence.

“We have some money coming in, and we’re going to wait on that before we pick up any big-ticket items,” Johnson said.

No new personnel positions are created in the budget, he said. There are some empty slots on the town’s employee roll, but no new hires are in the budget.

The spending plan was approved by the six-member board without much discussion and with no objections, Johnson said. The commissioners discussed the budget during a May 30 meeting.

“There have been workshops and anything put before them tonight they’ve already seen,” Johnson said.

The town’s new administrator also is familiar with the task of pulling together a municipal budget. The man who replaced the late J.R. Steigerwald brought 25 years of experience in local government to St. Pauls. His last posting was in Turbeville, South Carolina, where he worked as administrator for seven years.

Steigerwald resigned from the St. Pauls town administrator job he held for five years at the end of the commissioners’ meeting on Aug. 9, 2018. He died in late October unexpectedly.


T.C. Hunter

Managing editor

Reach T.C. Hunter by calling 910-816-1974 or via email at [email protected]

Reach T.C. Hunter by calling 910-816-1974 or via email at [email protected]