Bladenboro OKs new budget totaling $1.7M

BLADENBORO — Residents in the town of Bladenboro will see no increase in property taxes, but will see a slight increase in the water and sewer rates for fiscal year 2016-17.

On Monday, the town board approved the new budget totaling $1.7 million, which represents an increase of $70,926 over the current fiscal year’s budget. The ad valorum tax rate will remain at .64 cents per $100 valuation.

According to the new budget, property owners will experience a 2-percent increase in the water and sewer rates.

The new fiscal year budget kicks in on July 1.

Also on Monday, the board used a closed session to approve a recommendation by Police Chief Chris Hunt and hire a new police officer, which returns the department to full staff.

Hired was Tonya Bullard of St. Pauls, who comes to Bladenboro after serving as a logistics officer with the U.S. Army at the rank of captain. Although she has never held a public law enforcement position, Bullard did complete her basic law enforcement training at Robeson Community College.

Bullard will start her new position with the town on June 26.

In other business:

— Town Administrator John O’Daniel told the board that the roofing projects for the library and police department have been completed.

— The board voted to approve a letter of support for Boost the ‘Boro’s Farmer’s Market grant application.

— O’Daniel told the board that GPS devices are now installed in town vehicles.

— Commissioner Billy Ray Benson brought up a number of items that he said needs the town’s attention — including dirt that has been removed by the town on railroad property near his home. He requested that the issue be put on the next agenda.

Benson also said a slab of concrete and a concrete bird bath have been sitting along Pine Ridge Circle for more than a month. Andy Coleman replied that currently, the town has no place to put it. The issue was resolved when it was decided that the town truck would transport the items to the cement plant in Elizabethtown.

The next meeting of the board will be July 11 at 7 p.m.

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