Waxhaw approves ‘complicated’ 2012-13 budget

Town administrators scramble to get it on the page

by Josh Whitener

WAXHAW – Town administrators were hard at work Tuesday, July 3, trying to put together a finalized written document of the budget Waxhaw town commissioners approved last week.

In the early-morning hours of June 27, the board of commissioners voted to approve a proposed budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year after adding several line items and making some changes throughout the evening.

Due to several delays, the town’s Deputy Finance Officer Bonnie McManus said the “complicated budget” was still being examined Tuesday afternoon, as town administrators were scrutinizing the recording of the June 26 meeting and making sure each line item on the page matched up with the budget commissioners approved at the meeting.

“(Commissioners) spent an hour and a half on the budget at the end of the meeting,” McManus said. “The meeting finished at 1 (a.m.) and we couldn’t get (the budget) put into an excel spreadsheet.”

Town Manager Michael McLaurin told Union County Weekly on Tuesday the town’s entire budget for the upcoming fiscal year is $7,174,678. The tax rate will stay the same at 34 cents per $100 of assessed property value.

Though commissioners originally intended to allot $140,000 for two small area plans, the new budget has set aside $208,000 for all four small area plans in the works. Those plans will bring improvements to the N.C. 16 corridor near the downtown area, the Hillcrest neighborhood, the community on Waxhaw-Marvin Road and Waxhaw’s east side community.

The capital project, which includes water tank refurbishment, the replacement of some police cars, funds for public service projects and other town projects amounted to $772,360. Commissioners also set aside $25,000 for the downtown façade program, which helps pay for façade changes to the buildings in the downtown area.

An area of debate at a June 20 meeting was the amount the town would give to outside agencies. After careful consideration, commissioners approved to give the following amounts to outside agencies:
• Andrew Jackson Foundation: $2,000
• Council on Aging: $1,500
• Turning Point: $3,000
• Union County Community Arts Council: $2,500
• United Family Services: $5,000
• The Waxhaw Women’s Club: $2,500

In addition, the board agreed to allot $10,200 to the Waxhaw Volunteer Fire Department to cover 800-megahertz radios and $10,500 to put toward building rental and in-kind services for the Andrew Jackson Foundation.

McLaurin said the budget does not include the addition of any town employees but does give a 3 percent salary increase for those on staff. Once finalized, the budget will be posted on the town’s website, www.waxhaw.com, McManus promised.

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