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Fletcher adopts $6.1 million budget

FLETCHER — The Fletcher Town Council adopted a $6.1 million budget that raises the town tax rate by 1½ cent because of the Fletcher fire district increase of the same amount.

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The new tax rate is 34 cents per $100 valuation. The revenue neutral rate — the tax rate what would generate the same amount of revenue as the current year — was 31.4 cents per $100 valuation. The budget is up by 9 percent from last year.
Fletcher followed its neighbor, Mills River, which had to increase the town rate to reflect the fire district increase 7.5 cents to 9 cents. Fletcher budgeted $1.1 million for Fletcher Fire & Rescue and $101,364 for Mills River Fire & Rescue. Flat Rock and Laurel Park also adopted raised taxes this year because fire departments that cover those towns received a tax increase.

Fletcher budget

 

Total: $6.1 million

Tax rate: 34 cents/$100 valuation, up 1½ cent. (Revenue neutral rate: 31.4 cents)
Fire taxes: Fletcher and Mills River both went up 1½ cent.
Fire service: $1.2 million.
Revenue highlights: Utility sales tax expected to go up from $595,000 to $670,000; sales tax revenue projected to go up by 8 percent, or $100,000.
New vehicles: Three police cruisers, two public works vehicles.

Other budget highlights include a new full-time detective in the Police Department “to better respond to cases involving investigative follow-up,” Town Manager Mark Biberdorf said in a budget message to the Town Council. The spending plan also funds a 1.7 percent cost-of-living adjustment and merit pay for eligible employees.
Among the budget goals Biberdorf listed were maintaining current level of services, dedicating 8½ cents worth of the town’s property tax levy to capital expense and aggressively pursuing development partners for the Fletcher Town Center development on land the town owns.
The budget funds the annual debt service for the Town Hall construction, at $598,000, and appropriates $105,000 for three police patrol cars, $40,000 each for a public works SUV and a truck and $108,000 to repave the front parking lot at Fletcher Community Park.