MAXTON — The Maxton Board of Commissioners have approved its $2.7 million budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year that includes no property tax or fee increases and gives town employees a 2.5 percent cost-of-living adjustment.
The new budget, which becomes effective July 1, includes a $1.8 million General Fund. Water and Sewer funds total $739,000 and there is a Powell Bill appropriation of $93,700.
The budget leaves the property tax rate at the current 80 cents per $100 of property value, and the fees for water, sewer and trash pickup remain $57.77 a month. No new positions are created. Money is available to make payments on a new trash truck and pave several roads that are not state maintained, according to Emmett “Chip” Morton, the town’s mayor.
The budget includes the first raise town employees have received since 2011. All 24 full-time and part-time employees are receiving the raise. The total cost to the town will be about $21,500 a year.
Morton said that he is pleased with the document.
“It’s always a good budget when you don’t have to raise property taxes or water and sewer fees, and you can give your employees a raise,” he said.
No one came forward to comment on the budget during a public hearing held just before the commissioners voted unanimously in favor of adopting the plan..
Maxton commissioners also approved the Laurinburg-Maxton Airport Commission’s $1.3 million budget that goes into effect on July 1.
According to JoAnn Gentry, the commission’s executive director, the budget includes a 2 percent cost-of-living increase for the airport’s five employees.
Included in the budget, Gentry said, is money for taxiway rehabilitation and painting of the north water tower. She said the airport commission will also be purchasing for $517,000 a vacant 59-acre industrial site located on the west side of Hickman Dive and Airbase Road from the Scotland County Economic Development Corporation.
Gentry said the commission will be selling a 10.66-acre industrial site on Airport Road adjacent to the existing spec building to the Scotland County Economic Development Corporation for $155,000.
Also at the meeting:
— The commissioners recognized Brandon Bounds, a Maxton police officer, as the town’s Employee of the Month. The Employee of the Month is selected by town employees based on their “service and dedication to the community,” Morton said.
Bounds is credited with recently saving the life of a 2-year-old child when a grape the child was eating became lodged in his throat.
— Jamie Smith, leader of Maxton Girl Scout Troop 607, presented Morton and Angela Pitchford, the town’s interim manager, with certificates recognizing their support of the local troop’s activities and programs. Smith said there are 40 girls who are members of Troop 607.
— Morton announced that Maxton’s Independence Day Celebration will be held beginning at 4 p.m. July 2 at Beacham Park. He said the family event will include entertainment, games and activities for all ages. Fireworks will be held after dark.
— Capt. Jamie Oxendine, of the Maxton Police Department, said that a June 14 armed-robbery of the local General Dollar Store is still under investigation. He said there are suspects and it is anticipated that there will be arrests soon.
Bob Shiles can be reached at 910-416-5165.