Kitty Hawk reviews proposed 2019-20 budget

Published 5:20 am Wednesday, May 8, 2019

During last Monday’s recessed Kitty Hawk Town Council meeting, town manager Andy Stewart provided a brief overview look at a preliminary draft of his $10.1 million 2019-20 budget.

According to Stewart, the balanced budget has an emphasis on planning for the future while providing the same level of services as in previous years with no tax rate increase. Stewart added that the figures do show an increase in revenues in an effort to get closer to actual income projections.

“This budget recommends a total spending level of $10,152,437,” said Stewart. “That represents a 4.6 percent increase in revenues over the previous budget. The increase in revenues is due to readjusting revenue estimates to more accurately reflect occupancy tax collections and funds transfers to offset capital purchases being proposed in the budget.”

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Stewart went on to explain that his proposed budget maintains the current .34 cents per $100 valuation tax rate for the fourth consecutive year while maintaining a $3,500,000 emergency reserve balance, a $1,430,961 un-restricted reserve fund balance and a capital reserve fund balance of $2,952,880.

Other budget highlights include:

– A contingency line item for unforeseen expenses – $136,451.
– A five percent increase in health insurance premiums.
– A two percent pay increase for all full-time town employees.
– Bath House renovation funds in the amount of $100,000.
– Boardwalk and dock repairs — $8,000
– Fiber optic phone system replacement – $5,000
– Fire Department training equipment – $55,000
– Fuel storage tank replacement — $12,000
– Funds critical capital needs and reserves consistent with the town’s five-year capital improvements program in the amount of $943,000.
– Includes $100,000 toward a future fire truck replacement.
– Includes $200,000 for a future police station.
– Land use plan update – $5,000
– New financial software – $90,000
– Police Department equipment – $35,000
– Purchase of an eight-inch de-watering pump – $75,000
– Purchase of three police patrol vehicles – $115,0000
– Street resurfacing – $142,000

Stewart pointed out that while there have been requests for additional police, fire and public works positions, this budget does not include any new full- or part—time positions. It does, however, include funds to correct a couple of pay compression issues that have resulted in some supervisors making less money than employees they supervise.

During discussion on the budget, Mayor Gary Perry said while it is better to rent pumps for stormwater removal than to buy one, it requires predicting in advance when the pumps will be needed.

In other business for the day, board members voted to award a $157,950 contract with RPC Contracting to repair and resurface West Eckner Street and Beacon Drive and briefly discussed some of the repairs needed for the leaks in the Tateway stormwater pipe system.