Kitty Hawk utilizes unrestricted fund balance, delays capital improvement plan

Published 8:36 am Saturday, May 16, 2020

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Kitty Hawk Town Council reviewed their operating budget for fiscal year 2020-21 on May 11 via a Zoom phone call.

Town manager Andy Stewart began by explaining that the budget was written during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused the town to struggle in “understanding what will happen over the course of 365 days.”

Stewart presented a balanced budget to the board, with revenues and expenditures each totaling $9.4 million; a 7.3% decrease from last year’s revenues.

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The balanced budget reflected a projected 50% reduction in occupancy and sales tax revenues. Cuts also came to all departments in terms of travel, training and fringe benefits.

Stewart said he wanted to “be conservative in projects” given the uncertain nature that the pandemic has caused. The balanced budget came from the utilization of $744,424 from the unrestricted fund balance.

The town still maintained $3.5 million in their emergency reserves and “healthy” reserves overall, according to Stewart.

After the countywide property reevaluation, Kitty Hawk saw a 27% increase, rising from $1.07 billion to $1.36 billion in total assessed value from 2019 to 2020. This led to a decreased property tax rate.

The five-year capital improvement plan was delayed for a year given the current circumstances. However, line items such as police equipment, radio reserve funding and street resurfacing were agreed to be essential and will continue to be funded.

Mayor Gary Perry addressed the onsite fuel storage tank maintained by the town in terms of its condition. Stewart said the tank is used for hurricanes and such and will need to be replaced in the next year or so, but not right now.

The council also unanimously agreed to made an adjustment to their retiree health insurance benefit policy, allowing retirees to opt into the town health insurance plan.

Stewart suggested the town “regroup in about three months after the summer months to see where we’re at.” The council took no further action on the budget during the meeting.

A public hearing will be held on June 1 for further discussion and approval of the budget. For more information on the Town of Kitty Hawk, visit their website at



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