Belhaven council approves budget|By GREG KATSKI
Community Ed

Published 1:59 am Wednesday, June 30, 2010

By Staff
BELHAVEN — The Town Council approved the town’s 2010-2011 fiscal year budget Monday night.
The budget, which takes effect July 1, includes a revenue-neutral property-tax rate of 45 cents per $100 valuation, said Mayor Adam O’Neal. It does not include salary increases for any town employees.
“Conditions won’t allow that,” O’Neal said, adding that he appreciates the work performed by the town’s employees.
O’Neal noted that municipalities throughout the state and nation have cut positions as a result of the Great Recession.
“We might have to do that down the road, but certainly not this year,” he said.
O’Neal said the town is relying heavily on town-provided utilities, especially the town’s electric system, to support other town services.
He said the budget is “easy to pick apart” and doesn’t have any “smoke and mirrors,” adding that there are no increases in fees for utilities.
“It’s important to understand how tight these financial times are,” he said.
While the budget doesn’t include pay raises for current employees, the town recently hired a new finance officer, new building director and two clerical assistants.
Town Manager Guinn Leverett has been busy interviewing prospective candidates since the resignations of Kyle DeHaven, the town’s former finance officer, Marty Overholt, former code-enforcement officer several weeks ago. During the meeting, he announced the hiring of Steve Nobles as the town’s new finance officer. He said a new code-enforcement officer has been hired and would be introduced to the public in the coming days.
O’Neal said the town is “very proud” to have Nobles, a native of Beaufort County and son of former Aurora Mayor Grace Bonner, working for it.
“He was, by far, the most qualified” of the candidates for finance officer, O’Neal said.
“I’m glad to be here,” Nobles said. “We’ve got some exciting things going on.”