Local Politics

Cary proposes smaller budget

Town Manager Bill Coleman's budget plan for next year would cut property taxes while adding personnel to maintain local services.

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CARY, N.C. — Town Manager Bill Coleman has proposed a $306 million budget for the 2008-09 fiscal year, which is about 20 percent lower than the town's current budget.

The proposal includes a 7 percent increase in operating funds, to $166.3 million, and a 38 percent decrease in capital spending, to $139.4 million. Cary's tax rate would drop from 42 to 33 cents per $100 valuation under the plan, meaning the owner of a $300,000 home would pay $990 in local taxes a year.

“The proposed (fiscal year 2009) budget takes a very conservative approach to new spending while ensuring that Cary citizens will continue to enjoy the high quality programs and services our community is known for,” Coleman said in a statement.

The proposal adds 25 full-time positions, mostly in police, technology services, finance, parks and public works and utilities.

Other highlights of the budget include $61.1 million for street improvements, downtown streetscaping and other transportation initiatives; $37.7 million for sewer projects; $19.6 million for parks, including the renovation of the old Cary Elementary School; and $11.2 million for water projects.

The monthly solid waste fee would increase from $11.75 to $14 under the proposed budget to cover increasing operating costs and new recycling benefits. Cary water and sewer customers also would see a 1.2 percent rate increase, or about 77 cents more a month for a residential customer using 7,000 gallons of water.

Public hearings to discuss the budget proposal have been scheduled for 6:30 p.m. May 29 and 6:30 p.m. June 12 in the Town Council Chambers, at 316 N. Academy St.