The Fuquay Varina Town Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year at a town hall meeting on June 4.
Town Manager John Barlow presented the budget in a public hearing during the meeting. It contained no increase in the property tax, or ad valorem, rate, which stands at 38.5 per $100. This is the 11th straight year without a property tax increase for Fuquay Varina residents.
Water and sewer rates also remained flat.
Mayor John Byrne praised the town’s economic condition and its ability to keep taxes steady while “at least five” other Wake County towns plan to raise theirs.
“We are able to borrow money at the very best rates for a town our size,” Byrne said.
Total expenditures in the budget amounted to more than $18 million. Expenditures go towards paying for inspections, as well as wages for police officers, firefighters and other public workers.
Additionally, the budget called for a 2.3 percent pay increase for full-time town employees hired before July 1, 2011.
Barlow said that plans for a new cultural arts center in town were not included in next year’s budget but were in the town’s five-year plan.
Commissioner Cindy Sheldon proposed two line-item additions to the budget before approval. One was for $75 million out of the fund balance to pay for a streetscape in Varina similar to the one in Fuquay. The other was to give the mayor a $250 “expense stipend” to pay for travel or other work-related expenses. Both additions were put into motion and carried by the board.
Commissioner William Harris said the budget was “good” and that it “reflects our economic times.”
Byrne thanked the approximately 40 members of the public for attending the meeting.
“What really helps us do our job is citizen input,” Byrne said.
Another matter the board addressed at the meeting was the rezoning of 25 acres of land near 2054 Herbert Akins Road from Residential 20 to Residential 10 on the zoning chart. The land currently houses a pump station which runs down Stewart Street.
Sheldon said she was “confident that the transition is well taken care of,” and the board approved the rezoning unanimously.