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Manteo sets public hearing on budget

A public hearing has been set to hear from the public on a proposed $8.6 million 2020-21 budget for the Town of Manteo. The public hearing is scheduled on June 3 during the Manteo Board of Commissioners meeting, which begins at 6:30 p.m.

It is expected that, because of social distancing requirements, the meeting and hearing will be held via a conference call. The public is able to listen and make comments. The public can also submit comments in writing. The board hopes to adopt the budget at their June 17 meeting.

The town manager told commissioners at their May 20 meeting that the proposed budget represents a tightening of the belt after the budget was redeveloped by staff and modified in light of the COVID-19 health crisis. Although the ad valorem tax rate is expected to maintain the current revenue level, it is anticipated that other shared revenue sources such as sales tax revenue will decline.

The proposed fiscal year 20-21 budget allocates $5,647,352 for the General Fund, $22,000 in the Cemetery Fund and a Water and Sewer Fund of $2,966,774, bringing the total proposed budget to $8,636,126. Taxpayers – after re-calculation of the ad valorem rate due to property revaluation – will not see an increase in their property tax rate and the water and sewer rate will remain unchanged.

Departments reduced original budget requests to meet anticipated revenue shortfalls, including reducing or postponing capital expenditures and program requests. The town also eliminated the dockmaster and assistant dockmaster position, postponed the hiring of a project manager/facilities manager/inspector position, altered curbside recycling to a paid by subscription service, eliminated the 2020 4th of July celebration and reduced the 2020 New Year’s Eve funding to $20,000.

The proposed budget will include funding for the Town Common project, the Davis Lot improvements, continued stormwater drainage work and the Queen Elizabeth sewer lift station. If the proposed budget is adopted as presented, town employees will see a 2.5 percent cost of living raise and a 1 percent salary increase.

The manager, James Ayers told commissioners the budget is financially balanced and maintains essential services. The Manteo 2020-21 fiscal year budget is available for review on the Town of Manteo website: townofmanteo.com.

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