Butner proposes tax increase | The Butner-Creedmoor News
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Butner proposes tax increase

Posted on May 12, 2022

Updated on May 15, 2022

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A screen shot of the streaming May 5 Butner Town Council meeting shows municipal leaders in town hall.

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A screen shot of the streaming May 5 Butner Town Council meeting shows municipal leaders in town hall.

amanda@butnercreedmoornews.com | 919-424-1785

BUTNER — Town Manager Tommy Marrow recommended to the town council that it consider a .6 tax increase during his presentation on May 5. 
Marrow said the town will use nearly $2.9 million from the fund balance; however, the town will use its American Rescue Plan Act funding of $2.5 million to reimburse the general fund balance and use $477,000 to balance the budget.
Marrow recommended that the town purchase 14 take-home cars for the public safety members who have obtained a Firefighter II certification and have over two years of service to the town. 
The capital outlay budget is aggressive and includes the 14 cruisers, a ladder truck, paving the concrete pad at the fire department, a truck for public works, equipment for the sports arena, a stage at Gazebo Park, an age six and under playground for the center of Butner Athletic Park, and lighting on sidewalks in Gazebo Park, Marrow said. 
The proposed tax increase would also cover 3% cost of living increase for employees and an up to 2.75% merit increase based on performance.
The budget would allow the town to fill a public works position and add a permanent part-time special events coordinator.
Butner scheduled its public hearing on the budget for June 2 at 7 p.m. 
Iris Allen spoke during public comments about the Umstead property owned by the town. She was dismayed to learn the council was considering selling the property to developers rather than using it for town amenities. 
Allen said she and her husband had raised two children and wants them to raise their children in Butner as well. “But there was nothing for the children then and there is nothing here now unless you play soccer or baseball,” she said. 
Allen said the property could be turned into a park or something from which the entire community could see some benefit.
Jimmy Walker also spoke during public comments and asked the council about a dog park or other potential uses for the property.
Mayor Terry Turner has been very outspoken about using the property for the citizens in Butner. Turner said he was disappointed that the other communities were able to provide for its citizens. He asked that the council have its facts and figures together and never rush to judgment. 
“There are other options,” Turner said. “We are going down the road like a horse with blinders, not looking right or left. I just want us to look at every option.”
Council member Tom Lane said, “It”s not that we’re not keeping the public in mind as we move ahead. The council gave the authorization to apply for a grant to remove the buildings on the property, that is all that we have done.” 
Lane said there have been studies conducted about possibly renovating some of the buildings on the campus, but it’s not financially feasible to do so.
“If we can get a grant to remove the buildings at no charge to our citizens, then we could take that savings and work with developers to build amenities for our citizens,” Lane said. “We will still be in control of the what goes on the property.” 
Lane mentioned senior housing as one of the possibilities that had been discussed in preparing the 2040 plan to move the town forward.
He mentioned recruiting industry to increase the tax base and that would help on the financial end.
Lane said this was the first time he could remember the council being split on its decision, but by working together they will get through this as one.
The board also:
• Presented Butner Public Safety Sergeant Cecelia “CeCe” Duke with an Advanced Law Enforcement Certificate.
• Committed $50,000 of the budget for economic development for Rice Wraps. 
• Approved electrical outlet upgrades to Soldier’s Memorial Arena.
• Approved a statewide mutual aid and assistance agreement. 
The council will meet again on June 2 at 7 p.m. 

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