Stay cool in this heat and pray for rain.:

Town Manager Update – June 2024

JUNE 2024
FROM THE TOWN MANAGER’S DESK

Dear Residents of Elizabethtown,

At our June 3rd meeting, the Town Council passed the proposed budget for 2024-25. This year posed unique challenges as we grappled with costs that have surpassed revenues, a trend that has persisted for several years. Despite our efforts to streamline processes, cut spending, reduce staff, and leverage technology to maintain our service levels, we faced a budget shortfall that necessitated adjusting property taxes after not doing so for 27 years. I have outlined much of this information and the Town Council’s plan to address our budget crunch for the long term in the Summer Issue of the Bridge Newsletter.

Here is a rundown of what the budget included:

Property Tax increase of $0.03 per $100 of assessment: This is equivalent to $30 annually for a house assessed at $100,000. Again, property taxes have not been raised in 27 years, which alone does not keep up with inflation.

Utility Rate Increases: The property tax increase simply cannot provide increased funds needed for water, sewer, and solid waste removal. These costs are part of a separate restricted account that is funded through the fees paid for those services.

The Town also received an unexpected 91% increase from the county for tipping fees and a $50 per ton charge for leaf/limb debris. Added to the increase from our solid waste provider, the town will experience a $184,000 increase in trash collection costs. We are actively looking for a viable alternative to reduce this increase.

The unfortunate solution is to increase utility costs (property, water, sewer, and waste removal). The average homeowner will see an increase of about $9.70 a month for those services.

We are tightening costs while looking at ways to increase revenue through sales and property tax collections primarily by attracting new businesses and visitors to our Town.

A copy of the 2024-25 Budget Ordinance is available on our website at https://elizabethtownnc.org/finance/

Dane D. Rideout, Town Manager

ACTIONS FROM THE TOWN COUNCIL MEETING ON JUNE 3:

  • Retiring Police Chief Tony Parrish was presented with a framed copy of a resolution honoring him for his years of service and a decorative box to hold his sidearm and badge. Chief Parrish is retiring after 8 years of service as Elizabethtown’s Chief of Police.
  • Council approved the special use permit request from Elizabethtown Christian Academy to establish a satellite school for 6th – 8th grade at the Vertical Church, 2603 West Broad Street, Elizabethtown. The special use permit was approved after a Public Hearing and a vote by the Council.
  • The Council passed a resolution of support for an NC Department of Transportation project at the intersections of US 701 with Mercer Mill, Swanzy Street, and King Street. It was noted by the Council that the project will improve the safety of pedestrians in this area and ties nicely into work on Dunham Street.
  • The Council approved a bid for a Commercial Insurance Package from Warren Insurance and a bid for Workers’ Compensation from the League of Municipalities.
  • The Council awarded the contract for Design/Build Service for the Community Center Project to DeVane Builders, Elizabethtown.

UPCOMING EVENTS

June 18-21                  Ace Aviation Camp, Curtis Brown Airport
June 19                        Juneteenth. The town offices will be closed.
June 24                        Special Called Town Council Meeting
June 28 -July 7            Downtown Sidewalk Sales
July 1                           Town Council Meeting