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Posted on: June 16, 2022

PRESS RELEASE (6-16-22): Benson Approves FY 2022-2023 Budget

BENSON APPROVES FY 2022-2023 BUDGET

6-16-22

The following is a detailed overview of the approved FY 2022-2023 Town of Benson Budget. Commissioners approved this budget during the regularly scheduled June 14, 2022 meeting following a public hearing.

In 2021-2022, the Town collected approximately $1,827,869 in property tax. Johnston County performed the 7-year real property revaluation in 2018. Benson’s tax rate will remain the same as the previous year at $0.55 per hundred. The Town of Benson will collect an estimated $1,901,712.65 in the coming year with this increase. 

The approved budget reflects a municipal rate totaling $0.55 ($0.43 for General Fund and $0.12 Fire Tax), a water and sewer volumetric rate increase of 10 percent, a 4 percent increase in refuse collection beginning July 1, 2022; and a $1.00 increase in all Electric base fees and a 5 percent rate increase. 

Below is a general overview by Fund: 

GENERAL FUND - $5,635,985 

-General Government - $3,412,579 

-Res./Fund Balance - $392,306

-Fire Protection - $873,600

-Museum - $62,500

-Library - $130,000

-Parks & Recreation - $765,000

WATER/SEWER FUND - $3,992,736 

-Res./Fund Balance - $0

ELECTRIC FUND - $5,442,412 

-Electric Department - $4,902,569

-7 percent NC Sales Tax - $339,843

-Res./Fund Balance - $200,000

TOTAL

$15,071,133


STAFF

The budget reflects the following new positions and their perspective departments: 

-Administration: Project Manager

-Planning: Level III Inspector and a Code Enforcement Officer (to start in January 2023) 

-Parks & Recreation: Maintenance Parks Assistant and Athletics Parks Assistant 

-Public Works: Public Works Specialists x 2 

-Electric: Lineman Class A 

SALARY

The Town of Benson has decided to give all employees a 3 percent COLA increase; as well as any employee that is out of probationary period is eligible for a merit increase up to 5 percent. 

BENEFITS

The Town will remain with the State of North Carolina Health Plan. Vision and Dental insurance were previously reviewed and it was determined that we will stay with our current providers, United Healthcare and Lincoln Financial, respectively. The total average cost for medical, dental, vision, long-term disability, and wellness incentive is calculated at $9,300 per employee. 

GENERAL FUND 

The Town of Benson’s expected real property valuation for FY 2022-2023 is $345,765,937. At a tax rate of fifty-five cents ($0.55) per hundred dollars; this estimated collections for this valuation will be $1,901,712.65. 

General Fund revenues reflect one PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) amount: 

-$8,000 for the Benson Housing Authority 

A proposed increase in curbside waste, recycling and yard waste collection is included in the draft figures. 

-Single can trash, recycling and yard waste service is currently $23.24 per month.

-The proposed adjustment is to charge $24.17 per month starting July 1, 2022.

-This figure accounts for a Waste Industries 3 percent CPI adjustment that will be effective on January 1, 2023 and monies to aid in the clean-up of the Porter Street Yard Facility.

The estimated Unrestricted Net Position for the General Fund will be approximately $1,739,566. 

FIRE PROTECTION 

A total of $873,600 in revenue is anticipated by the Fire Department Revenue Fund. 

Fire Department Fund revenue is based on twelve cent ($0.12) fire tax from the property values for Banner Fire Districts ($364,086) and a twelve cent ($0.12) fire tax on property values for the Town of Benson ($414,900). Additional revenue sources include Johnston County ($40,000), Harnett County ($16,178), and Fire Inspections ($12,000) 

Funds are budgeted to make the annual debt payments for an existing Fire Engine at a cost of $36,477, the Fire Station Building at $77,166 and a Fire Utility at $4,407. 

WATER-SEWER FUND 

Water and Sewer Fund revenue is based on a three year trend of water and sewer consumption/sales. The Town has also been informed of their bulk water rate for Johnston County to increase by 6 percent and the City of Dunn to increase by 6.5 percent. Along with this and the rising prices in the industry for materials and equipment, the Town is proposing a modest increase in the Water and Sewer Fund. 

At this time, a 10 percent volumetric increase is recommended to support the needs of the Water and Sewer Fund. There will also be an increase in Water tap fees, to simply cover the cost of materials. 

As required, the budget includes provision for debt service payments on the following projects: 

-Dogeye Road Annexation Project - $45,242

-WWTP 18” Aerial Sewer Line - $18,370.15

-Water System Phase I - $10,800

-Water System Phase II - $36,964.03

-AMI Water Meters - $27,277.16

-WWTP Expansion Loan - $103,355

-USDA Pump Station Loan - $96,136.25

-Public Works Building Loan - $24,061.33

The estimated Unrestricted Net Position for the Water-Sewer Fund will be approximately $236,488. 

ELECTRIC FUND 

The Electric Fund budget is proposed at $5,442,412 for FY 2022-2023.

-An estimated $339,843 of this budget is related to the 7 percent NC Sales Tax; this amount is merely a pass through tax that is forwarded to the state monthly. 

A lean approach has been taken in respect to Power Purchased and Electric Charges (sales).

-Benson wholesale power purchase costs are estimated based upon the Full Requirements Power Purchased Agreement with Duke Energy Progress. 

At this time, a $1 increase in Electric Base fees is being proposed, as well as a 5 percent increase in volumetric rates. This is a direct result in rising cost of materials, gas prices; as well as the competitiveness of maintaining lineman to service the Town of Benson in their Electrical needs. 

The Electric Budget does account for the continued lease/purchase of a Line Truck ($47,011-Last year of payment) and Bucket Truck ($50,209.44). These annual payments are captured in the Capital Outlay line item of the Electric Fund Budget. 

The Electric Budget also accounts for pulling monies out of reserve, to continue to fund the Pole Replacement Project and finish out the Hot Line Tree Trimming Project that was implemented in FY 2022. 

The estimated Unrestricted Net Position for the Electric Fund will be approximately $869,884. 

SUMMARY

The FY 2022-2023 Budget addresses the goals/needs of the Town as approved by the Board of Commissioners in April 12, 2022. The financial investments identified in the budget are designed to address the following BOC goals: 

  1. Infrastructure 
  2. Public Personnel 
  3. Quality of Life 
  4. Services 
  5. Customer Service

As we move forward during the coming 12 months, the following areas of need should remain a focus for the elected officials, staff, and citizenry: transportation improvements (including the widening of I-95 and installation of the US 301 Roundabout Project), storm water repairs, water/sewer infrastructure needs, and economic development opportunities. 

Respectfully, 

Kimberly Pickett 

Interim Town Manager Town of Benson


LINKS TO DOCUMENTS

View the approved FY 2022-2023 Budget in full: 

https://www.townofbenson.com/DocumentCenter/View/1141/Budget-for-the-2022-2023-Fiscal-Year

View the approved FY 2022-2023 Fee Schedule in full: 

https://www.townofbenson.com/DocumentCenter/View/1143/Fee-Schedule-for-the-2022-2023-FY-

View the approved FY 2022-2023 Customer Service Policy in full: 

https://www.townofbenson.com/DocumentCenter/View/1142/Customer-Service-Policy-for-the-2022-2023-Fiscal-Year

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