Final approval expected Monday

Jun. 22, 2013 @ 12:19 PM

Henderson will have its 2013-2014 year budget on the table for approval at 6 p.m. Monday, plus a handful of other business items dealing with planned demolitions, sewer plant upgrades and close-out of the current year budget.

The council will also hear from Henderson Planning Director Erris Dunston on what the city can do to streamline permit requirements that businesses must deal with, aiming for a “one-stop” permit process goal.

City Manager Ray Griffin on Thursday said his staff has put into a revised budget proposal the priorities and particular numbers that the city council requested.

“Obviously, the big item on Monday will be the budget approval,” Griffin said. “The budget ordinance is prepared based on the numbers from the last work session.”

The budget will include an increase of 3.5-cents per $100 valuation of property, a $2 increase in the sanitation fee and a 1-percent sewer utility charge increase.

With $503,300 in reductions from the first draft, the general fund budget will run at about $15.2 million, including a drawdown of about $160,000 on the city’s general savings account.

It will keep the Downtown Development Commission funded with a director and operating budget and the minimal requests by the recreation department not to eliminate a baseball post-season program.

Through the budget work process, council members relied on Griffin to do the cutting work. Council members could only agree on one line item, a $1,200 cost for lighting a city mural.

Also on the agenda is whether the council will once again delay declaring three structures on Charles Street and one on Rowland Street to be in violation of city code and therefore on the list for demolition.

They will also consider a bid award for geo-technical project work that Griffin said is a precursor to big-project digging and earth moving for renovation of the sewer treatment facility.

“You have to know what’s underground before you start digging,” Griffin said. “It’s part of what is done on a project of this magnitude.”

Rounding out regular business is a yearly big-ticket item, closing out the current year budget as independent auditors begin their work on all department reports of revenue and expense.

“This will get our departments in line for auditing,” Griffin said. “The audit process has already begun, with a report expected in late October or early November.”

Following regular business, Dunston will inform council members about her department’s progress toward implementing one-stop permitting for Henderson, improving the city’s internal processes so permit seekers, mainly businesses, notice an efficient result.

“This is strictly our internal process, so customers will have less red tape,” Griffin said.

Also discussed in past work sessions and the council’s January retreat were whether a one-stop process could be achieved together with Vance County.

A closed session on an attorney-client matter to be presented by City Attorney John H. Zollicoffer is also expected.

 

Contact the writer at mfisher@hendersondispatch.com.