MINT HILL – The Mint Hill Board of Commissioners will vote next month on a proposed fiscal year 2019-20 budget that sees an 8.7% increase from the town’s current budget.
Town Manager Brian Welch presented the board his recommended budget during a May 8 workshop, and almost all of the increase is for the town’s police and fire departments.
The board will hold a public hearing and vote on the budget at its June 13 board meeting.
The proposed budget is $17,065,654, up from this year’s budget of $14,996,460. The proposed tax rate for the town is $0.255 per $100 valuation, which is a drop from the current $0.27 tax rate.
The revenue-neutral tax rate, which would enable the town to take in the same amount of money next year as it did this year while factoring in average growth since the previous revaluation, would be $0.216. That means with the new proposed rate tax bills will go up for some since many homeowners and businesses saw the value of their property increase after the recent revaluation.
The biggest jump in the budget is for the fire department, which increases by $1,092,674 to $3,478,520. The budget adds three new firefighters, a new $850,000 rescue-pumper fire truck and $100,000 toward the station expansion.
With three shifts, the fire department will now have eight firefighters on each shift.
“That’s two fully stocked trucks that are out the door,” Welch said.
The proposed police department budget is $5,047,285, which is an increase of $892,810 from this year’s budget. The department will hire four additional patrol officers and a crime analyst. The department, which asked for 10 new vehicles, including four for the new officers, will get six new patrol vehicles.
“The biggest driver for that is the five additional personnel,” Welch said. “Much like the fire department that includes one (new officer) per shift. Traditionally, we do five (vehicles) per year, but we just couldn’t make all (10) fit.”
The police department budget also includes $52,000 in new incentives for officers who receive additional training. Twelve officers received an average of $4,000 in incentives this year, ranging from 2.5%to 12% depending on what threshold they met.
“I have had officers come up and thank us for that,” Commissioner Dale Dalton told Welch. “I think you have given police and fire what they really needed.’’
Commissioner Mike Cochrane said he was pleased with the increases for the police and fire departments.
“We need the extra police, and we need the extra firemen,” he said. “We have a lot more households now, even in the last year.’’
The proposed public works budget is $1,037,592, which is basically unchanged from the current fiscal year, which saw the department receive several large capital expenditures. The department will add two additional personnel, a large pick-up truck, a sickle mower and a roller.
“The public works, they are our unsung heroes,” Cochrane said. “They didn’t ask for a lot but we got them everything they asked for.’’
The parks department budget is $264,608, an increase of almost $30,000. Plans call for potential renovation work on the tennis courts and other park projects.
“We are trying to stay ahead of the curve a little bit,” Welch said.