Mills River Town Council unanimously approved the town’s $4.9 million 2021-22 budget Thursday, which doesn’t include a property tax increase and funds a new park maintenance position.
The tax rate will remain at 19 cents per $100 of assessed property value. Mills River hasn’t raised the tax rate since 2016. The rate was reduced in 2019.
Town Council voted on the spending plan after holding a public hearing.
No fund balance monies were used to balance the budget.
The budget breaks down as follows, according to the town’s budget document:
- Governing body: $22,900
- Interfund transfer (capital reserve): $168,000
- Administration: $681,725
- Tax collection expense: $4,500
- Police: $804,700
- Fire: $1,600,000
- Streets and highways: $144,500
- Planning and Zoning: $171,650
- Economic development: $88,000
- Library: $9,000
- Parks: $459,900
- Capital investment: $771,225
The capital projects plan includes spending $771,225 of fund balance on a park shelter and public restrooms, software to record meetings, a golf cart, the town’s website and a space needs assessment for Town Hall.
Of that, $500,000 is budgeted for a shelter and restrooms, $6,000 for recording software, $10,000 for a golf cart, $29,975 for the website and $15,250 for the space needs assessment.
The remaining funding will be carried over from this year’s fund balance, including grant funds received, for streambank restoration and the Mills River Valley Trail project.
Council unanimously approved substituting a new park maintenance technician position in place of a proposed parks recreation programmer position. The position is budgeted at $56,777 for salary and benefits.
“The benefit of having an additional maintenance technician is, basically, we would be able to handle all the groundskeeping in-house,” said Town Manager Daniel Cobb.
Cobb told council an additional employee to mow is also needed, at an estimated cost of $18,000. Council didn’t vote on adding that position.