$4.5 million budget proposed for Jefferson

By Alan Bulluck

June 3, 2014

Jefferson Town Manager Cathy Howell unveiled a $4.5 million spending plan for the 2014-15 fiscal year that would not raise taxes, at the board of aldermen’s regular meeting on May 27.

“This could change, of course, by the time next month rolls around when we adopt a budget,” Howell said.

The proposed budget comes out to be approximately $4,536,419, which is lower than last year’s adopted budget of $4.8 million.

Salaries for town employees, administration fees, police department, street maintenance, sanitation and water and sewer costs account for the bulk of expenditures in the proposed budget.

During the meeting, Howell explained the reasoning behind some of the monetary increases in certain departments, particularly the police department’s increase and water and sewer, in the proposed budget.

“The police department computers, that they have in their cars, are now out of date,” Howell said. “I think they have the Windows XP on them and that is no longer supported and there’s really no way to update those.”

Howell said it will cost $10,000 to replace the computer systems in the town’s three police cars. She did note that the department is not in need of a new car.

“We did have an increase of other fringe benefits,” Howell said. “The state has new requirements now. It used to be that we didn’t have to pay anything, but now we do. (The state has) started coming after the municipalities.”

Fringe benefits are extra benefits that supplement an employee’s salary, like cost of gas, subsidized meals or health insurance.

Tim Church, director of water resources for Jefferson, explained the reasoning behind some of the expenditures for water and sewer.

“We are looking at a storage building and also concreting the area right in front of the entrance,” Church said. “That would be a big improvement at the water plant.”

Church also noted that improvements are needed to for some of the town’s manholes.

“Some of the things we’re focusing on right now is sealing some of the interiors of the manholes that have shown a lot of rainwater getting into,” Church said. “Some of the old brick manholes are collecting a lot of rain water.”

While no vote was taken on the budget, no members of the board voiced concern over any of the items in the proposed budget.

The board will consider and approve a budget at the next regular meeting scheduled for June 30.

Alan Bulluck can be reached at (336) 846-7164 or on Twitter @albulluck.