Interim Town Manager Daniel Weeks presented the recommended town budget for fiscal year 2018-2019 at the Holly Springs Town Council’s May 1 meeting. The tax rate is proposed to remain the same as last year at 43.25 cents per $100 valuation. Monthly water and sewer access fees, as well as garbage, recycling and yard waste fees are proposed to remain the same. An increase of 3.02% in the water and sewer utility use rates is proposed, a systematic increase reflecting increased costs to supply services.
Assuming these proposed fee increases are implemented, the average Holly Springs utility bill would remain lower than 50- and 100-mile averages for water and sewer utility providers. Aside from a small increase last year, which corresponded to a pass-through rate increase by the town’s water provider, Harnett County, the Town of Holly Springs has not increased utility use rates since the 2010-2011 approved budget. Weeks said, for a household that uses 5,000 gallons per day, the monthly utility bill would increase about $1.32 with the proposed change.
The council is to meet for a special workshop to discuss the proposed budget Monday, May 14, 5:30 p.m. Update: The location of the workshop later was moved to the Law Enforcement Center. The public hearing and formal adoption of the budget will be in June. Click here to view a copy of the proposed budget.
The council reappointed Elizabeth Stone and appointed Kimberly Henry and Len Lloyd to serve on the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee. The committee had three vacancies that needed to be filled due to expiring terms. Later, it was determined that Henry is unable to serve as she also is a contracted coach for the town and wishes to continue serving in that capacity.
Joni Powell, town clerk and director of the Public Affairs and Communications Department, gave a report on state awards earned by the town communications team for videos. Tamara Ward, communications specialist, earned a first place award for a video to help the Holly Springs Police Department recruit new police officers. Public Information Officer Mark Andrews earned a second place award for his video advance promoting the Finding Patience play produced at the Holly Springs Cultural Center.
Also at the meeting, the council adopted an ordinance to amend the Town Code on drinking in public places. The amendment reflected current practices during ballgames and events at Ting Park and the cultural center, and expand beverages that can be sold at Ting Park.
Acting Assistant Town Manager and Engineering Director Kendra Parrish discussed a study on utility development fees required by a new state law that sets out how water and sewer development fees are calculated for new homes and businesses.
Parrish also announced that the N.C. Department of Transportation has approved a dedicated left turn signal for vehicles on Holly Springs Road turning left onto Main Street, heading north toward Ting Park. The town had been requesting the turn signal for years.
The Holly Springs Kiwanis Club announced its 16th annual Kids Appreciation Day, Saturday, May 5, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at Sugg Farm. Terrific Kids were recognized at the meeting.
A Southern Environmental Law Center representative gave the council a presentation about ACCESS2040, a group of improvements to existing roadways in Wake County that could serve as an alternative to the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Complete 540 project.
Also at the meeting, Weeks congratulated Jeff Wilson, director of the town’s Information Technology Department, for graduating from the University of North Carolina School of Government’s municipal administration program.