GARLAND — During a swift meeting on Thursday evening, town commissioners approved an $808,000 budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year, which begins July 1.
Leading up to Thursday’s approval, budget deliberations including debates involving a contract from the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office, requests from the Garland Fire Department and other tax matters.
Commissioners turned down a $113,000 contract from the sheriff’s department, because they felt it was too much. It included a $25,000 increase from the previous year. Plans to bring back a police force in Garland is in the works. The town’s fire department requested a 10 cents tax per $100 valuation on property was also rejected.
In the end, the tax rate remained at 72 cents per $100 valuation of taxable property. It’s based on an estimated valuation of close to $28 million and a 95 percent rate of collection.
General fund revenue is set at $493,000 with expenditures for the governing body, public safety, streets, environment work, recreation and contingency.
Although the tax rate will remain the same, Garland residents can expect to pay a little more for a motor vehicle sticker fee, which is now $10. It was $5 before the approval. Cities and towns throughout the state received permission from the General Assembly to increase the tax up to $30. Revenue from the fee may be used for street maintenance, building repairs and recreation. The extra revenue may generate an extra $2,000 a year, bringing the expected total to $4,000.
The fund for water-sewer is set at $279,000. Rates for service will increase by $1 for residential customers and $2 for each commercial user. It also include an $1 sewer increase for residential customers and $2 for commercial customers. The increase may generate more than $10,000 a year, according to a previous estimate. Garland officials said the purpose was to avoid having a major increase in the future.
The Powell Bill Fund, which includes money for street maintenance, totals $36,000.
Besides towns officials and media, not one resident attended the meeting. The same was true when the budget was presented and perused by the board during a special meeting last month.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.