The Jamestown Town Council unanimously approved a budget of $12,601,661 for fiscal year 2021-22 at its June 15 meeting. This is a 12 percent decrease from the 2020-21 budget.
The Council first saw a proposed budget at its May 18 regular meeting. The revised budget approved is $22,500 higher than the May figure. The difference is seen in the General Fund and includes expenses for the town manager search expenses, Benchmark Planning for consultation of the Town's comprehensive plan, and purchase of new equipment for the golf course. The budget includes all Town operations, capital improvements, transfers and debt service.
There will be no tax increase from the current $0.485 per $100 valuation. However, the water rate will increase approximately 3 percent due to a rate increase from the Piedmont Triad Regional Water Authority, from which the Town purchases water. Sewer rates will increase approximately 8 percent. Jamestown purchases sewer treatment from the City of High Point and those rates have increased. Total for the water/sewer fund is $3,340,000.
North Carolina is seeing a surge in sales tax revenue post-pandemic, even after sales tax distribution in 2020-21 exceeded expectations. Jamestown Finance Director Judy Gallman projects a 20 percent increase in sales tax revenues for the Town for the upcoming year.
The general fund total is $6,465,436 and includes a general fund balance of approximately $1,040,000, which will be used to fund capital projects. The previous year's general fund was $6,421,536.
Personnel expenditures account for 26.1 percent of the total budget at $3,086,000 and include salaries, FICA, retirement, group insurance, 401(k) and other benefits for 33 full-time employees. Part-time and seasonal employees only receive FICA. The budget includes a 1.6 percent cost-of-living increase and a 0-3 percent merit increase.
Another approximate quarter of the budget is the $3,098,766 allotted for contractual services, including property and liability insurance, cleaning, security system maintenance, other building service contracts and other miscellaneous services.
Capital outlay accounts for $2,808,300, or approximately 23.7 percent, of the total budget. It includes vehicles and equipment valued greater than $5,000, buildings and improvements greater than $20,000 and infrastructure valued at greater than $50,000. Suggested purchases/projects for the next fiscal year include a new sanitation truck, bathrooms at both Wrenn Miller Park and the golf course, building/stormwater/crosswalk improvements and new equipment.
Capital Improvement Plan
There was one addition to the Capital Improvement, a should-do item of a deep tine aerator in the Golf Maintenance department of $33,378.
Four capital projects have been set as must-do priority: Oakdale Road phase 3 sidewalk, Penny Road sidewalk from West Main Street to the High Point Greenway, Oakdale Road phase 2 sidewalk from Hillstone Drive to Moore Street, and the Recreation Maintenance Building at the athletic complex on East Fork Road.
No-priority must-do items in the operating budget for fiscal year 2021-22 include updates to the 2040 Comprehensive Plan, bathrooms on the golf course, crosswalk improvements, a new sanitation truck, and a sidewalk and crossing along Potter Drive from West Main Street to Brookdale Drive near Jamestown Elementary School.
Total projects for the upcoming fiscal year total $1,103,838 and includes both must-do and should-do projects.
"I'm comfortable with the budget," said Councilmember Martha Wolfe prior to the vote. "I thank the staff and Judy for all your hard work on it. It's gets harder every year, I think."
"I echo what Martha said about the staff," said Councilmember Lawrence Straughn. "I've seen agencies that pad a budget so they can buy this-that-and-the-other. I'm very impressed with the fact we don't do that.
"I want to see [the budget] remain low but still have the best service that we can."
There were no comments from the public regarding the 2021-22 budget. It will go into affect July 1.