Huntersville board discusses proposed tax rate increase

The Huntersville Town Board discussed the proposed FY 2014-2015 budget before their regular board meeting on May 5.

Huntersville has the lowest tax rate among the top 20 North Carolina Municipalities, Town Manager Greg Ferguson said.

The proposed budget calls for a $0.0225 tax rate increase to $0.305 to pay for the town’s debt on several projects.

Commissioner Ron Julian told the board the tax increases were directly proportional to the road improvement projects.

Other items in the proposed budget include a slight increase in sales tax and hotel/motel prepared food tax and the addition of one full-time parks and recreation building services specialist position.

The budget also includes a marketing adjustment of 3 percent for employee salaries during the coming year.

“Our people provide a service we all enjoy,” Ferguson said.

The proposed budget includes the full costs of the 2013 general obligation bonds, funds transportation enhancements and funds several major projects and debt on 2013 general obligation bonds issued last year, Ferguson said.

The budget also increases the current solid waste fee of $54 to $72 to offset rising solid waste costs.

The budget also calls for an increase in the debt service for the $8.1 million of 2013 bonds and reserves for the 2015 general obligation bonds, with $10.975 million to be issued in September 2015.

The budget allocates the additional $3 million needed for improvements at the US21/Gilead Road intersection, which would bring the total project budget to $9.6 million, Ferguson said.

The town hopes to adopt the FY 2014-15 budget by June 2.

During the regular board meeting, the town conducted a public meeting on a request by Bowman Development Group to rezone 42.36 acres located at 8615 Gilead Road from transitional residential to neighborhood residential-conditional district to build 67 single-family homes. Whitney Hodges, senior planner for the town of Huntersville, said there have not been any protests submitted for the project.

The Board also conducted a public hearing on a request by the Town of Huntersville to amend the Huntersville Zoning Ordinance to modify the number of police vehicles from 1.9 vehicles/1,000 population to 1.68 vehicles/1,000 population. Zac Gordon, principal planner with Huntersville, said the change reflects the demand for vehicles.

The Board denied a request by One More Neighborhood, Inc. to rezone approximately .88 acres from general residential and manufactured home overlay to highway commercial conditional district. The denial came after the applicant asked the petition to be withdrawn.

After hearing citizen concerns regarding the 77 Huntersville Professional subdivision sketch plan, the Board voted to refer a decision until the May 19 meeting.

The Board approved the decision to purchase property at 201 Huntersville-Concord Road, with commissioners Rob Kidwell and Danny Phillips voting against the motion.

Upcoming events/meetings

Small Business Event of the Year - May 12 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Peninsula Club (main ballroom). Tickets: $17, includes lunch.

Public hearing on the FY 2014-15 budget - May 19