MAYOR AND COUNCIL
PUBLIC HEARING – BUDGET
JUNE 6, 2016
Mayor Cerino called the public hearing to order at 7:00 p.m. In attendance at the hearing were Council Members Liz Gross, Linda C. Kuiper and Mauritz Stetson, W. S. Ingersoll (Town Manager), Jennifer Mulligan (Town Clerk) and guests.
Mayor Cerino read the public notice, which was published in the Kent County News on May 19, 2016 and May 26, 2016 into the record as follows:
“At 7:00 p.m. on Monday, June 6, 2016 the Mayor and Council will hold a Public Hearing for the purpose of adopting by Ordinance FY2017 Budget. The hearing will take place in the office of the Mayor and Council, 118 N. Cross Street. Citizens are encouraged to attend and make written or oral comments on the entire budget. The budget is available for review in the office of the Mayor and Council
By Authority of
Chris Cerino, Mayor”
Mr. Ingersoll stated that budget workshops were held on May 5th and May 9th with the entire Council in attendance. He said that there was no requirement to hold a Constant Yield Tax hearing because the tax rate remained the same at $.37 per $100.00 of assessed value, although there was a slight rise in the assessment values.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that $2,150,000.00 was expected in revenues from property taxes along with penalties that would amount to $15,000.00 and income taxes of $725,000.00. Mr. Ingersoll stated that grants from the State were $844,900.00 and consisted mainly of marina grants. The Hotel Tax from the County was being reimbursed in full this year, although there was still no tax differential offered. Total revenues are $4,492,029.00.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that there were graphs explaining the expenses and included Public Safety at $1,647,495.00. He said that most of the capital projects at 601 High Street (Police Station) have been completed. Public Works (Street Department) expenses were at $1,280,631.00. Capital outlays were listed on page 8 and included street paving and projects at the marina. He said that total expenses came to $4,605,641.00.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that in order to balance the budget the Town was selling the former police station building on South Cross Street and five (5) excess lots for an anticipated $350,000.00. He said that this would bring excess revenues over expenditures of $236,388.00.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that USDA, Waterway Improvement Funds and Community Parks and Playgrounds were the grants that there were in place for this year. He said that paving of the tennis courts has already taken place at the Middle School, and some of the other work funded by the Community Parks and Playgrounds grants was underway.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that Airbnb’s in Town should be paying the room rental tax and was something that should be pursued with the County (County collects room rental tax).
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Town was able to fund many of the requests from non-profits and recreation.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Marina revenues will be $161,200.00 with operating expenses at $127,884.00. The debt service for the Marina this year will be $144,453.00.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that total revenues for the Utilities Department were $1,894,600.00 and expenses were $1,808,689.00 with a net income before depreciation of $85,911.00. Utilities rates will remain the same in FY2017 for both hook-ups and water and sewer service.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that he received a letter on this date indicating that an additional $200,000.00 in Waterway Improvement Funds has been granted to the Town. He said that this grant required matching funds and the Town was trying to get substantial USDA funds by way of loan/grant that could be used as a match.
Mr. Ingersoll asked if there were any questions.
Mr. Pete Heck asked the status of the old police station building and where the lots were located that were for sale. Mr. Ingersoll stated that no bids were received for the former police station building when it was put up for bid in November 2015 and now it has been listed with a realtor. Mr. Ingersoll stated that there was one offer received for the building just before it was listed. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the lots were bordered by College Avenue and Lynchburg Street and was where the old Garnett School was located. He said that there were five (5) single-family lots which will be sold for $15,000.00 each to qualified low and moderate income families. Lots could also be sold to non-qualifying families at $25,000.00. All of the lots had water and sewer laterals to them.
Mr. Dan Menefee asked where the figures of $350,000.00 came from and what would happen if the properties did not sell. Mr. Ingersoll stated that figures were based on State assessments and an appraisal of the police station. Mr. Ingersoll stated that he felt sure that the police building was going to sell in FY2017, but if the properties did not sell then streets would not be paved. Mr. Ingersoll stated that he was unsure if all lots would be sold this year but there was no reason to keep them off the tax rolls.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that revenues seemed to be slowly picking up. He said that the northeast annexation taking place could be a great catalyst, but infill lots are also beginning to be built out which was helpful for the tax base.
There being no further questions, Ms. Gross moved to close the public hearing at 7:18 p.m., was seconded by Mr. Stetson and carried unanimously.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Jennifer Mulligan Chris Cerino
Town Clerk Mayor