Pittsboro commissioners hold second public hearing for 2022-23 budget

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PITTSBORO — Commissioners and town staff discussed adjustments to Pittsboro’s 2022-23 budget during the town board’s regular meeting on Monday evening at the Chatham County Agricultural and Conference center.

The board held the second public hearing on town’s proposed 2022-23, with town manager Chris Kennedy presenting adjustments to the budget proposal. The first public hearing took place during April 25 meeting.

“You’ll notice that the governing board(’s budget) has gone up (in percentage of the overall funds) to 3%,” Kennedy told the board Monday, “and sanitation (department budget) has gone down from 7% to 6%.”

Kennedy said the reason behind the governing board percentage increase was to account for an increase in salaries for the Pittsboro Police Department and moving the costs for special event security to the town.

“We know that the board will be likely to want to sponsor some of these events,” Kennedy said. “So we’ve moved some of that money to your (the board’s) budget so that either someone would pay those directly and that would be your revenue in ... or if you would like to sponsor an event, you would have a budget at your disposal to sponsor such events.”

The proposed tax rate will increase from 0.4333 per $100 of valuation to 0.44 per $100 of valuation, which will give the town more than $52,000 in extra revenue. This is the first increase in Pittsboro’s tax rate since the 2015 fiscal year.

The budget also proposes a 15% increase to water and sewage rates for town customers due to “cash withdrawals for the Fast-Track GAC (granular activated carbon) Project” at the Pittsboro water treatment facility.

The amended proposed budget also includes an increase in operating costs for the town’s water treatment facility and a decrease in town administration expense.

“This (the decrease) is simply a result of some of the reductions that we have in the employee expenses in the administrative side,” he said. “It’s still largely unchanged from what you saw (before), despite some adjustments.”

Commissioners will work to adopt the 2022-23 budget on May 23. Kennedy said members of the public can contact town staff if they have concerns with the proposed budget before it is considered later this month.

Reporter Taylor Heeden can be reached at theeden@chathamnr.com.

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