Town passes budget, no property tax increase

Benjamin Cohn

Weaverville – Town Council first voted to approve minutes from several town meetings in May and June and to approve that night’s agenda before getting to the budget and the agenda items. Mayor Al Root then designated the next several minutes to comments from the public, a feature of which one resident took advantage. 

Town resident and developer Lou Accornero spoke on the subject of the town’s planned community center, commenting that it should be designed with “residential” qualities in mind rather than “commercial” ones, especially when it comes to monetizing the community center. 

“Something was brought up earlier in regard to commercial or residential,” he said. “The footprint for what you have in the community center is more residential than it is commercial, okay? Everything about it. It’s more residential than it is commercial.”

June’s consent agenda included three items: the town’s monthly tax report (99.4 percent collected) and the acceptance of two new water lines at the Barkley Terrace and Creekside Village projects, two upcoming subdivisions outside the town limits. The consent agenda was voted on and passed.

Selena Coffey, Weaverville’s town manager, then proceeded with her monthly report to Town Council. She told the council that the town had to cancel the first concert in its summer music series “due to the weather.” Other notes included in her report were the closing date of the old bus garage sale, scheduled for June 21st and plans to move this year’s Fourth of July celebrations, renamed the “July 4th Block Party,” according to Monday’s agenda.

An important fact that came out of last week’s meeting is that area residents interested in the early voting process will, as of now, only be served at the Asheville Board of Elections office at 77 McDowell Street. Mayor Root informed the council that Weaverville could potentially host its own early voting site at the cost of “approximately $460 per day.” 

Town Council then considered and acted on the proposed 2019-2020 town budget, including “budget ordinance, fee schedule, capital reserve fund resolutions and final budget amendments” for the 2018-2019 budget. The nearly $7.6 million general fund budget a .12% increase over the current year and $2.4 million water fund budget shows, which is a 6.3% increase over the current budget. Combining the two makes the total town budget about $10 million, an increase of one and a half percent over 2018-2019.

While there is no rise in the property tax rate, there is a 5% increase in water rates and a new fee schedule with several increases and decreases (see sidebar for more details on fee changes). 

 A motion to approve the budget passed unanimously.

The council then heard several other issues of lesser import, including some minor updates to the town’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan and a water allocation request for property located at 135 Monticello Road.

Stay tuned for coverage of next month’s Fourth of July festivities, including this year’s scaled-down fireworks display.

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Clint Parker

Publisher & Editor Weaverville Tribune

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