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Nashville council plots fiscal future

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By PHILIP SAYBLACK
Staff Writer

Friday, April 21, 2017

NASHVILLE — The town of Nashville’s fiscal year 2016-17 and 2017-18 budgets are one step closer to being finalized following a budget workshop Thursday.

The daylong workshop was aimed at discussing the latest figures for the town’s predicted budget for the rest of the current and upcoming fiscal years. There was little change in the new budget as the town still is predicted to finish the current fiscal year in the black as the final weeks of the current year wind down.

Town Manager Hank Raper stressed that while the town is still expected to finish the year on a positive financial note, that does not mean it will finish with a budget surplus. Any money left unspent at the end of the year will go back into the town’s general fund, he said.

According to a handout presented during the meeting, the newly amended budget for the remainder of the year sets the town’s revenues at $6,342,233.48. The new revenue figure is slightly higher than that presented at the council’s previous budget workshop. That figure presented revenues of $5,502,169. So far, the town has only spent $4,054,570.53. 

The town’s latest budget forecast for fiscal year 2017-18 was slightly different at Thursday’s meeting, too. The new forecasted budget sits at $5,215,987, up a little more than $27,000 from the figure presented in the council’s budget retreat last month.

The town’s tax base remained its main source of revenue, with $1,879,727.64 collected as of Feb. 28. The new budget forecasts revenues for next fiscal year to increase to $1,961,234. Sales and use tax distribution remained second with no change in its number from the council’s previous meeting.

Raper said the town likely would not be able to completely finalize its budget until it finds out what Rocky Mount will do with its water and sewer rates. He said that was a critical part of finishing the budget.

“We buy a lot of water and sewer service from Rocky Mount,” Raper said. “If Rocky Mount goes up on its rates, it will force us to go up, too, and we will lose money. It is a really critical part of our budget.”

The council also discussed needs presented by the town’s fire, police and parks and recreation departments — including new vehicles and equipment — during its meeting. Raper told commissioners while purchases of the items would not start until 2019, the town council needs to start planning for the purchases immediately.

“We will end up in a crisis if we don’t start planning now,” Raper told commissioners. “It will take fiscal discipline and sacrifice up front, but I believe we can do it.”

The budget next will be discussed during the town council meeting on May 2.

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