Here is a summary of local government meetings in the Lake Norman region for the beginning of June. Check with each town to verify if their meetings are being held according to the pre-COVID-19 calendars. We are supplying links so you may view the streaming video from these meetings at their actual times or after the meetings. Please note our reports do not include the full content of the meetings. —EH Stafford, Managing Editor
MONDAY, JUNE 1ST:
Cornelius Town Manager Andrew Grant presented his proposed 2020-2021 budget to the board of commissioners at the Monday, June 1 meeting of the Cornelius town board. Following Grant’s presentation, a public hearing on the proposed budget was held.
The public hearing will continue during the next board of commissioners meeting, which will be an in-person meeting on Monday, June 15. Highlights of the budget were presented in the previous article which you can read here. Other highlights in the budget that were not mentioned in the previous article include:
- Full time firefighters: The budget calls for $186,930 which is slated to allow the town to hire 6 full time firefighters. Currently, the town only has part-timers and volunteers, but Grant wants the town to start the transition to a full-time career fire department in fiscal year 2021.
- State mandates: The budget includes $139,000, a 1.6% increase to cover higher cost, which the town is required to pay into the state retirement system.
Additional items which were originally planned for inclusion in the 2021 budget have also been delayed until the later part of the fiscal year include: filling 2 police officer vacancies, purchasing 12 police body cameras, a residency incentive for sworn police officers, and a computer replacement program. As stated in our previous article, per state law, the budget must be adopted by June 30. The board expects to schedule a special meeting between June 15-30 to adopt the budget.
Cornelius Town Hall Reopening:
Cornelius Town Hall has been closed for almost three months but will begin a modified reopening in June. Most of the town hall staff has returned to the building which is being deeply cleaned and sanitized on a daily basis. The reopening will come with extra safety precautions in place including a screening of everyone who wishes to enter the building. The screening will include a temperature check. Everyone who enters the building will also be required to wear a mask while in the building. The reopening of town hall also means that some meetings will begin to resume their normal schedule. If meetings are typically open to the public, arrangements will be made to ensure social distancing between attendees.
Cornelius Town Board meets the 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month at 7pm in the Assembly Room at Cornelius Town Hall, 21445 Catawba Avenue, Cornelius, NC 28031. Meetings may be closed to the public due to COVID-19 restrictions, check with the town to confirm. You can view current and past agendas as well as video streaming of the meetings on the Cornelius Town Hall website.
The June 9, 2020 Davidson board of commissioners meeting was contentious at times. The primary discussion was the fiscal year 2020-2021 budget. The $12.3 million dollar pact includes $70,000 in emergency funds and $103,000 to fund the pre-existing Director of Parks and Recreation position among other items.
Funding a new position
In light of everything taking place in response to the death of George Floyd, commissioners unanimously agreed they wanted to fund a position that would oversee affordable housing, diversity, and inclusivity. The only problem? Exactly how will the position be funded? Commissioner Matthew Fort proposed that the Director of Parks and Recreation position, which is deep into the hiring process be put on hold, and the finances that would be used to fund that position go into an administrative bucket, along with the available $70,000 in emergency funds to fund the affordable housing, diversity, and inclusivity position.
Commissioner Jane Campbell vehemently opposed the motion for a number of reasons, some of which included not knowing whether or not the interim director would be willing to stay in their current position, understanding that a permanent director was in the process of being hired. According to Campbell, it also didn’t make sense to freeze the hiring of a position when they were down to the final four candidates.
In the end, via a 3-2 vote, commissioners agreed to approve the budget, placing the $103,000 from the Director of Parks and Recreation position, as well as the $70,000 available in emergency funds into an administrative bucket that would be utilized to fund the affordable housing, diversity, and inclusivity position.
Staff will come back to the board with information on whether the interim director would be willing to stay in their current role, even though they are not being compensated with a director’s salary. They would also bring ideas to the table that would allow the position to not be completely eliminated, but, reclassified so that both positions could be funded.
Davidson Town Board meetings occur on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month. Meetings may be closed to the public due to COVID-19 restrictions, check with the town to confirm. The agenda, meeting minutes, and links to audio and video recordings of the meetings can be viewed on the town’s website. See exact meeting dates and times on the calendar. Contact information for Davidson’s mayor and board of commissioners is available in the staff directory .
Pay raises have been a sticking point during Huntersville 2020-2021 fiscal year budget talks. That continued during the June 1 Huntersville town board meeting. Originally, Town Manager Anthony Roberts proposed a 4% pay increase for employees. Roberts reduced his recommendation to a 3% salary increase, but that still was not suitable for some commissioners. Two commissioners, Dan Boone and Stacy Phillips maintained their stance, opposing a pay increase due to the uncertainty of future financial implications due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All other commissioners thought the town should continue to take care of its employees by offering some sort of financial incentive for the coming year. Prior to a vote on Boone’s motion, commissioner Melinda Bales proposed a substitute motion suggesting a 2% pay raise at the start of the fiscal year on July 1, and an subsequent 1% boost on January 1, 2021, the midpoint of the fiscal year if salary and benefit savings to cover the raise are realized. After additional dialogue, Bales’ motion and the fy-21 budget passed via a 4-2 vote, with Boone and Phillips in opposition.
So, What’s in the Budget?
- The town’s property tax rate stays consistent at 24 cents
- Provides an additional $470,000 for fire department operations
- Doesn’t alter town fee schedules
- And, based on lower revenue expectations from sales taxes and other sources represents a 1.3% drop in general fund expenditures from the current year’s budget.
Huntersville Town Board meets the 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month at 6pm in the Huntersville Town Hall, 101 Huntersville-Concord Road, Huntersville, NC 28078. Meetings may be closed to the public due to COVID-19 restrictions, check with the town to confirm. You can view meetings on the Town of Huntersville’s Facebook page.
MONDAY, JUNE 1ST:
At the June 1 Mooresville town board meeting, commissioners unanimously approved a rezoning request that would potentially allow for construction of a new Mooresville Police Department headquarters on a 12.2-acre plot of land near the edge of the Mooresville Municipal Golf Course, near the intersection of U.S. 21 and West Wilson Avenue. The new facility would replace the current West Iredell Avenue location which the department has outgrown.
According to Town Manager Randy Hemann, the town will likely consider a $30,000,000 bond referendum in the coming year to fund the new police headquarters as well as a new fire station. Payments would account for an estimated $2.5 million a year in future budgets. The rezoning does not force the town to build the new police headquarters on the golf course site.
Mooresville Town Board meets the 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month at 6pm in the Executive Board Room at Mooresville Town Hall, 413 North Main Street, Mooresville, NC 28115. Meetings may be closed to the public due to COVID-19 restrictions, check with the town to confirm. View current/past agendas and video of the board meetings.
Photos courtesy Pixabay.com
A lifelong Mooresville native, and a library associate at the Mooresville Public Library. I am in charge of marketing and promoting events taking place at the library. An avid sports fanatic. I especially love Davidson Wildcats basketball, Atlanta Braves baseball, and NASCAR.
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