Belville budget increases to $1.09M, tax rate unchanged

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By Brian Slattery

Belville will hold a public hearing on the 2014-15 proposed budget at the regular June meeting June 23.

The total requested budget for 2014-15 is $1,099,885.

The property tax rate is proposed to remain at $0.0683 per $100 valuation the same rate used in 2013-14.

For a home valued at $150,000, the tax would come to $10,245.

The rate is based on Belville total assessed property value of $173,559,547.

Town administrator Athina Williams said the budget proposal includes matching funds of $160,897 for a Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) grant ($160,897) the town applied for to pay for the first phase of construction on the Belville Riverwalk project.

Williams said the money is included in the budget in anticipation of receiving the PARTF grant, which is expected to be announced in late June.

If the town does not receive the PARTF grant, Williams said the matching money can be removed from the budget, decreasing the total to $778,091.

The budget estimates undesignated funds of $680,845 and the budget recommendation includes using $56,385 from the undesignated fund balance for the budget.

According to Williams’ budget message, the budget was prepared to meet the goals of: funding core services that benefit Belville citizens and allocating resources for essential infrastructure needs.

The recommended budget funds core services of public safety, public works and street maintenance and sets aside funds for the development of parks and recreation programs and a future municipal facility.

Expenditures budgeted for 2014-15 include $109,000 for the governing body, which increased by $5610 to reinstate the town’s Founders Day celebration.

General administration is budgeted at $309,000, $3,700 less than in 2013-14 Williams said.

Public safety remains unchanged at $26,000. Public works budget dropped by 30 percent from 2013-14, to $138,000 due to the completion of several projects in the last budget year.

Belville has a Powell Bill Fund balance of $197,000 that is only available for streets and sidewalk projects.

The budget for planning remains at $60,500.

Parks and Recreation increased to $425,600 – which includes the PARTF grant and matching money.

A capital outlay intended for the purchase and upkeep of a future town hall facility is included at $28,000.

The proposed budget does not include a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for employees but the proposed budget allows for a maximum of 6 percent merit increase payable on the employee’s anniversary date.

Following the public hearing, the Belville commissioners could vote to approve the budget. The 2014-15 fiscal year begins July 1.

Brian Slattery is a staff writer for the Beacon. Reach him at 754-6890 or bslattery@brunswickbeacon.com.