Council’s unanimous vote passes Belhaven’s budget

Published 1:59 pm Thursday, June 16, 2022

Council voted 5-0 to pass the 2022-2023 town budget at their regular meeting on Monday night (Monday, June 13). The budget increased from last year’s by nine percent, according to budget documents. The total budget amounts to $6,403,693. There are no changes to utility or tax rates. 

 

The increased budget is in large part due to a five percent increase in cost of living adjustments for town employees. In addition, the cost of providing health insurance for full-time employees increased by 16 percent. The town’s largest expense is paying employees. Administration salaries and wages from fiscal year 2021 were $117,865. Conversely, the recommended salaries and wages for two full-time employees with the five percent cost of living adjustment factored in was $137,505. 

 

The recommended police budget for this year was $772,928. Comparatively the fiscal year 2021 budget was $407,633. 

 

According to the budget, Belhaven was able to hire a part-time building and code inspector with grant funding from the North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency. The grant funding lasted for three years. “The grant has now expired, but momentum in code enforcement has been gained,” the budget states. This means, room was made in the budget to hire a part-time code enforcement officer at a $25,000 salary. The county will assume responsibility for building inspections. Funding to hire an inspector will come from the General Fund. 

 

Belhaven will save money this year on electricity. The budget states that based on cost projections from Duke Energy Progress, the NC Eastern Municipal Power Agency costs to purchase electricity are “anticipated to be lower” than last year. This year’s cost savings are planned to be used to improve system-wide reliability.