The Town’s proposed 2014-2015 fiscal year budget includes no tax rate increase and was presented to the Holly Springs Town Council at its May 6 meeting.
“With the current economic environment, our goal is to create a budget that will maintain and improve services to citizens while still controlling the costs for these services,” said Holly Springs Town Manager Chuck Simmons. “I feel the Town of Holly Springs has a solid and conservative budget for next year.”
The tax rate remains at $0.435 per $100 valuation in the proposed budget, which also calls for no increase in solid waste, drinking water and sewer rates. The council will consider charging a fee to fund a stormwater program required by the federal government.
The program costs the Town $600,000 per year; the fee proposed would defray about $400,000. If the fee is approved, it would help offset the Town’s current cost of the program’s four employees, inspections and maintenance of stormwater retention areas, illicit discharge enforcement, response to stormwater complaints, flood prevention measures and more.
Five new positions are funded in the proposed budget: a building code inspector; planning, parks maintenance, and public works technicians; and a utilities customer service representative.
The council will review and adjust the budget document in a workshop before setting a public hearing in June. Click here to view the proposed budget.
In other business, the council and Girl Scouts honored Eryn Olmo, 17, who recently saved the life of a woman choking in a restaurant. The Girl Scouts presented her with the Girl Scout Lifesaving Medal of Honor. The Town also presented her with a community service award for her heroism.
Olmo was at work in a fast food restaurant when one of the customers began to choke. She stepped forward and said, “I’m a Girl Scout who knows first aid and CPR.” Olmo asked the woman if she was OK, but the woman was not and pointed to her throat. Reaching around the woman’s waist, Olmo performed two inward and upward abdominal thrusts, dislodging the food.
The mayor also designated May 18 as Team Weather Whiskers Day, honoring a local all-girls middle school team who is representing the state in a national robotics competition.
The council recognized Holly Springs Police Department K-9 Officer Leza who died in her sleep. After her service, she resided with her handler, Officer Keith Denton, and his family.
The council appointed LeeAnn Plumer to fill a vacancy on the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee.
During the public comment period, Plumer, the Holly Springs Chamber of Commerce director, updated the council on chamber activities. She thanked the Town for its continued support of the chamber.
“We look forward to continuing to work with you to help our Holly Springs businesses grow and succeed,” she said.
As part of its consent agenda, the council accepted a $37,178 grant from the Wake County ABC Board to purchase driving simulator equipment. The council also transferred $9,640 to the Grigsby Avenue sidewalk project fund.
Councilman Jimmy Cobb praised the Town’s Farmers Market and Sugg Farm Park, which recently hosted Kids Appreciation Day. Simmons said opening day attendance at the Farmers Market set a record with 1,500 visitors.
Councilwoman Cheri Lee wished local high school sports teams luck in upcoming playoffs.
Councilman Tim Sack said he recently spoke with Chris McDonald, the site head of the Novartis facility in Holly Springs, who may speak at the next council meeting. Sack said, with a 25-year contract with the federal government, the vaccine production facility in the Holly Springs Business Park will remain.