MOORESVILLE – As Mooresville gets ready for more growth, its proposed budget calls for a an increase in administration staff and departmental personnel to better cope with the rising population.

Though 12 new staff positions are included in the draft Fiscal Year 19 budget, the town’s proposed budget is about 5 percent less than the current fiscal year.

During budget workshops May 16-17, commissioners as well as town staff met to discuss the proposed budget. At $99,312,478, it’s a $5.2 million reduction from last year’s total financial package. The tax rate will also remain the same.

“I’m very pleased with our balanced budget,” Town Manager David Treme said. “We can proudly say that we lost some altitude and came in under that this time.”

Treme said town goals were carefully considered when it came to putting together the budget.

“My recommendation was that we try to align our budget with our strategic plan, so we’re starting out with goals and objectives,” he said. “We tactically adopted those goals in February (during the retreat) and have included those actions in this budget. There is a method to our madness.”

The budget workshop discussed all town departments, with staff presenting their projects and requests for the 2018-19 year.

Park Services

Budget proposal: $1.5 million

With five divisions included in the Mooresville Parks and Recreation Department, Director Pam Reidy said this year’s emphasis was to organize, evaluate and prioritize town-owned facilities and park sites like the War Memorial Center, the Winnie Hooper Center, Liberty Park, Cornelius Road Park and the Selma Burke Center. The proposed budget also includes three new full-time positions to oversee the maintenance of the facilities. Reidy said it was also a “high priority” to evaluate current program fees.

“We don’t have a good methodology for how and what we charge for programs,” she said. “A contract fee study will allow us to articulate why a program would cost what it does and give us a comprehensive undertaking of every program.”

She also said there was a lack of recreational programming services for adults and programs during non-peak hours.

“We want to make sure we’re covering the community,” she said. “We want to provide that extra programming throughout the evening, the mornings and the weekends.”

Mooresville Public Library

Budget proposal: $1.26 million

To better serve patrons, the Mooresville Public Library staff will be looking into ways to work with existing organizations like Friends of the Library and Mooresville Arts for more collaborative programming. A high-priority item on list of goals addressed was the need for heating, ventilation and air conditioning for the Mooresville Depot, costing about $55,000.
“We are attempting to work with the historic depot, which is Mooresville Arts,” Library Director Marian Lytle said. “This building was a identified as a top need from the Facility Dude (Building) Assessment.”

The library will also see some decor renovations thanks to a $70,000 grant between North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources and the town that was distributed in April. The patio project will be completed later in the summer, most likely August, Lytle said. In addition to the patio, Lytle said the Williams wing also needed improvements to showcase resources more visible for library go-ers.

Charles Mack Citizen Center

Budget proposal: $1.3 million

This year will be the fifth and final year of the auditorium roof replacement at the Citizen Center; the final phase will cost $160,000. Venue Operations Manager Stephanie Crisco said about six show series are already planned to be held in August. The proposed budget also includes the completion of the architecture and interior design services. Those improvements would cost $15,000.

Crisco said about 900,000 people come to the Citizen Center per year.

Planning and community development

Budget proposal: $1.25 million

One of the biggest requests from the Planning Department included additional staff. Currently about three people run the department. Planning Director Rawls Howard said to keep up with demand, two new positions, including a transportation planner and a zoning administrator, were requested.

“I can’t believe it took this long for you to ask,” Commissioner Bobby Compton said of the request.

Information technology

Budget proposal:  $3.7 million

Mooresville will prepare to become a more energy-efficient town with the addition of smart lights and town WiFi. Another goal is to create a town-wide camera system network to observe roadways and public places.

“We’ve purchased the software. Now we are looking at certain intersections,” Information Technology Director Jeff Brotherton said. “We will also be exploring to continue smart-light research and add downtown wireless.”

Additional budget proposals included the following:

Public safety, fire

Budget proposal: $9.3 million

Plan highlights:

• Partner with town departments to evaluate the need for a training facility to include driving track, fire, police training and an indoor firing range

• Plan for a future station location opportunities in N.C. 801/Mooresville Boulevard area, N.C. 150 and Perth Road, Langtree Road and Brawley School Road

Public safety, police

Budget proposal:  $11.3 million

Plan highlights:

• Implement a Police Bike Patrol program

• Add a police traffic safety and enforcement team

• Study the possibility of expanding the Mooresville Police Department’s Iredell Avenue station

For the full recommended budget, go to www.ci.mooresville.nc.us.

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