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Elizabethtown Approves FY 2019-20 Budget Without Additional Fire Service Fees

By Joy Warren

After a brief public hearing with no citizen input, the Elizabethtown Town Council voted Monday night to approve the fiscal year 2019-20 budget with one exception. Council denied any new fire service fees that were included in the proposed budget.

Dicky Glenn was the lone vote against the budget. He stated concerns about the 3-year grant-funded positions and how the positions would be paid for after the grant ends.

Town Manager Eddie Madden highlighted items of the budget which included no tax increase. Madden said. “Our tax rate has been at the same rate for the last 12 years, but we have made improvements and additions to our town. This can be attributed to the number of grants the town has obtained.”

The budget also includes the creation of a Planning Department with Billie Hall as the director. An additional position of Economic/Downtown Development and a grant-funded Code Enforcement position also will be added to the department.

Assistant town manager Pat DeVane gave an update on the Greene Lake Project. The dam has been completed and landscaping work is being done. Construction on the Streetscape project is making good progress with completion expected between August and September.

Tory Hole Park is now open. DOT completed the removal of debris and will be working to clean the parking lot at the boat ramp. That area should be open this summer.

Alice Jackson Williams (pictured, above) from the Lumber River Council of Governments made a brief presentation on an overview of the services offered by her office.

In other business, Council approved Records Retention and Disposition Schedule; surplus property declaration for Fire Department; Inmate Labor Agreement amendment; budget amendment and financial report. Council did not approve the recommendation of staff to award banking services to CresCom Bank, but voted to keep services with First Bank.

Bladen County Department on Aging Director Kelly Robeson requested the Council adopt a proclamation recognizing June 15 as “World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.” Council approved the request as presented.

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