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Board approves ordinances for town improvement

BELHAVEN – The Board of Aldermen approved several ordinances regarding town finances, maintenance and construction on Monday during their monthly meeting. 

Finance director Mimi Van Nortwick presented positive numbers in terms of the town’s funds. The general funds are up by 13% compared to this time last year. The current collection rate is close to 90% and the total expenses are 60% of the budget and the revenues are 70% of the previously budgeted amount. 

“I’m very pleased with the numbers,” Van Nortwick said. “The budget process for 2021-2022 is underway. The department heads have completed an assessment of their needs and are now compiling information from the past few years and determining what we need to do in the next few years.” 

In addition to the finances available, the town has finished repaying Beaufort County for emergency medical services utilized in 2015. This finished repayment means that an extra $10,000 will be available for use by the recreation department. 

Updated pay grades and position classifications were approved as well following a study and recommendations from MaxGroup. These classifications and pay grades were last modified in 1995. The pay grade and position classification upgrades will take effect starting April 1, 2021.

An ordinance to modify the town’s zoning code regarding industrial zones was approved by the board following a public hearing. The approved modification adds in setbacks of 20 and 50 feet depending on location, which was recommended by the town planning board. There were no setbacks in place prior to this approval. 

The fees for overgrown lot management were altered after a recommendation from the building inspector Ted VanEssendelft, was approved by the board. The new fees for management are 4 cents per square foot of land cleared with a minimum of $200. Property owners must be notified after the land is identified as a nuisance before any action can be taken by the town. 

A three-year contract with Zambelli’s regarding fireworks was renewed by the board. The cost for the contract is $13,000 for the first year, and an increase of $1,000 for a total of $14,000 for each of the remaining two years. These fireworks are most notably utilizied by the town to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday.