Lansing Aldermen approve 2014-15 budget

By Wil Petty

June 12, 2014

Taxes will remain at 35 cents per $100 for Lansing residents following the approval of the town’s budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year.

It was approved unanimously at the regular scheduled meeting of the Lansing Board of Aldermen on Monday, June 9.

According to the budget, Lansing’s total general fund revenue is estimated to be $94,775. Of that money, $25,000 will be provided by Ashe County to help with the recreational project, $24,500 will be generated by “ad valorem” taxes and $35,000 will come from sales and use tax.

Other revenues will come from franchise and auto taxes, privilege licenses and rental income.

Town Finance Officer Beth Johnson said the town also added $14,000 to its budget that was provided to the town in the 2013-14 FY budget by the Ashe County Board of Commissioners to help provide administrative costs related to the Lansing Creeper Trail expansion.

Lansing’s utilities fund for the 2014-15 FY is estimated to be $39,282, with $19,000 generated from sewer revenue, $18,000 generated by water revenue and an additional $2,282 generated from other sources. The town also set aside $6,700 for a “Powell Bill” allocation, which will be used for road maintenance ($5,500) and snow removal ($1,200).

Alderman Dylan Lightfoot asked for clarification relating to the utilities line item and if it was under the water and sewer budget. The line item had $9,000 in planned expenditures and would be paid off by the utilities fund revenues.

“That is the utilities for items like a pump, or anything that has to do with the water sewer,” Johnson said.

In addition to approving the 2014-15 budget, the Aldermen unanimously approved an amendment to the 2013-14 FY budget as well to include the addition of the $14,000 granted by Ashe County for the Creeper Trail Park expansion.

Dollar General

During the meeting, Alderman Mauvene Shepherd discussed the prospect of Dollar General coming to Lansing.

“Is anybody interested in pursuing this or checking this out before the (representative) comes back,” she asked.

Lightfoot asked if Shepherd was proposing that the town be a liaison between the company and potential land owners willing to sell their property as a site for the proposed retail outlet. Shepherd then asked if the town should help by offering information about potential land owners to the Dollar General representative.

“That sounds like it’s about all we can do,” Lightfoot said. “You’re talking about a company that has $17.5 billion a year. They can go and make their own contacts if we just give them the information.”

Lightfoot also suggested having Dollar General in Lansing would help promote business in the town because fewer people would have to drive to Jefferson or West Jefferson to shop for certain items.

“You might actually have more people shopping in Lansing by virtue of the fact that everybody up county isn’t driving to the county seat to buy towels or shampoo,” he said.

Greater Lansing Area Development (GLAD) President Ann Rose said she supported the idea of a Dollar General in the community because it would help create more jobs in their part of the county.

No vote was made in the meeting relating to the store.

In other action taken by the Board:

Discussed mowing bids and approved giving the mowing contract to John Harms and Mountain Men Mowing.

Discussed contacting the N.C. Department of Transportation about potentially placing speed bumps within the town limits.

Aldermen Jack Brown, Dylan Lightfoot, Brenda Reeves and Mauvene Shepherd were in attendance, as was Mayor George Rembert. The next meeting of the Board of Aldermen will take place Monday, July 14.

Wil Petty can be reached at (336) 846-7164 or on Twitter @WilPetty.