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City Council Approves New Budget and Financial Plan

Post Date:06/14/2018 8:35 PM
GREENVILLE, N.C. - The Greenville City Council approved the City's two-year spending plan on Thursday night, a plan that maintain's the City's property tax rate and reflects the Council's top priorities with an emphasis on economic development.

The Council voted unanimously to move forward with the proposed 2018-19 budget and 2019-20 financial plan, which includes more than $1 million allocated to commercial and industrial development projects and additional funding for other pro-growth initiatives such as job creation grants, job skills training, and the small business competition.

"This is a well-rounded budget that touches on all of the Council's priorities with an emphasis on economic development," Mayor P.J. Connelly said. "We are trying to build a better Greenville by expanding our economic base, and that will happen by creating jobs. This budget helps us establish a foundation for future economic growth."

Along with economic development, the new spending plan invests heavily in infrastructure improvements. Such investments include an increase from $2.2 million to $2.5 million for street improvements, $250,000 each year for street light and camera installation, $503,000 for sidewalks, and $3.5 million over the next five years to cover portions of nearly $400 million in state road projects. The budget also includes $7.8 million in financing of Phase Two of the 2015 G.O. Transportation Improvements Bond and appropriates $400,000 for parking needs on Dickinson Avenue.

Other highlights from the budget include a 2.7 percent employee wage increase the next two years and the addition of seven full-time positions, including a business concierge to implement a "one-stop" review and approval process.

The approved budget includes $133.5 million in City operating funds, $253.3 million for Greenville Utilities Commission, nearly $2.5 million for Sheppard Memorial Library, and $1.3 million for the Convention & Visitors Authority.

Highlights from the 2018-19 budget and 2019-20 financial plan
  • Invests $85 out of every $100 of all General Fund revenues into core public services areas
  • Includes 2.7% employee wage increase for both FY2018-19 & FY2019-20
  • Increases City's 401K contribution from $30 to $40 per pay period
  • Adds a full time Training and Development Specialist position for employee development
  • Invests $1 million over two years into commercial / industrial site development
  • Appropriates $400,000 to address parking needs on Dickinson Avenue
  • Invests $200,000 each year into Job Creation Grants
  • Increases funding for Small Business Competition Grants to $60,000
  • Includes $20,000 in job skills training through Pitt Community College
  • Adds a Concierge position to implement a "one stop" review & approval process
  • Increases funding for street improvements from $2.2 million to $2.5 million
  • Includes $250,000 each year for street lights and cameras
  • Includes $503,000 in funding for sidewalks through the Safe Routes to Schools program
  • Includes $7.8 million in financing of Phase Two of the 2015 G.O. Bond referendum
  • Uses $350,000 in excess fund balance to fund future NCDOT projects
  • Appropriates $100,000 to maintain the City's major thoroughfares
  • Includes an additional $50,000 to maintain the City's parks and greenways