No tax increase, 10 new jobs in Wake Forest budget proposal | The Wake Weekly
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No tax increase, 10 new jobs in Wake Forest budget proposal

Posted on May 5, 2021

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Wake Forest Town Hall

Amber Revels-Stocks | The Wake Weekly file

Wake Forest Town Hall

arevels@wakeweekly.com

WAKE FOREST — The recommended 2021-22 budget is an attempt to return to pre-COVID-19 conditions for Wake Forest, officials said.

The $91 million budget was presented to the board of commissioners Tuesday and allows for going back to in-person programming, according to Wake Forest Manager Kip Padgett.

The property tax rate will remain 49 cents per $100 of valuation. This is based on an estimated tax base inside the town limits of $6.8 billion in Wake County and $145 million in Franklin County and a collection rate of 98.5%, Padgett said.

The recommended tax rate for the Downtown Municipal Service District stays at 14 cents per $100 of property tax valuation.

The residential solid waste fee is recommended to stay at $21 per month while the vehicle fee is expected to stay at $25.

The budget recommends 10 new full-time positions, mostly in the police department. One of the new positions is a town attorney, who will work for the town. Currently, the town contracts with Eric Vernon for attorney services. Vernon will continue as town attorney until the town hires a full-time attorney. Padgett said he hopes to have someone in that position around October-December.

The budget also recommends hiring a safety coordinator to assist the town’s risk manager.

Other proposed positions include two telecommunications shift supervisors to handle a 24% increase in emergency call volume since 2018, four community resource officers, a detective and a victim advocate at the police department.

The capital funding plan is $5.3 million, which Padgett called “aggressive.” The largest single item will be a $586,500 fire engine to replace Engine 1, Padgett said. Other capital items include police cars and sidewalk construction. The budget recommends $1.2 million in appropriated fund balance to purchase one-time items, including equipment in the Public Works department.

The budget also recommends a return to in-person programming, including events at the Renaissance Center. The traditional Six Sundays in the Spring will be held in Fall 2021 and Spring 2022, Padgett said. Wake Forest Cares Holiday Kick-off is also in its planning stages and will be held in November.

The recommended budget is available online at https://bit.ly/3eYLogK. Hard copies are also available at town hall, 301 Brooks St.

The Wake Forest Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing May 18. It is expected to approve a budget at its June 15 meeting.

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