Raeford City County unanimously approved its budget for 2020-2021 at an 8 a.m. Monday meeting in chambers. The $5.6 million budget is changed from a draft the board examined last month, reflecting preferences of city workers.
City Manager Dennis Baxley said instead of a 1.5 percent cost of living increase for employees, an increase of 1 to 2 percent would be based on merit. And instead of cutting workers’ 401K contributions, they’ll remain at 5 percent. The City previously opted to plan cuts in 401K contributions to 4 percent to make up a for a 10 percent increase in insurance rates.
Baxley also recommended providing another $2,500 in economic development for additional sponsorships.
The City also allocated $2.4 million in the Water and Sewer Fund for operations next year.
The budget passed Monday will not increase the tax rate in Raeford. The rate is 48 cents per hundred-dollar valuation.
A planned 5 percent increase in water rates remains, and will result in a 90-cents-per-month hike for customers who use 5,000 gallons of water. Baxley said previously most Raeford customers use 2,000 to 3,000 gallons.
In other business, Councilwoman Mary Neil King proposed statues, possibly of deer, for McLauchlin Park. She said she had a donor who would match the cost with the City. No action was taken on the matter. The board is in the process of establishing a parks advisory board.
The budget takes effect July 1.