During last week’s meeting, the Locust City Council discussed the preliminary budget for the 2017-2018 fiscal year. The proposed budget included a $143,000 surplus in the General Fund.
City Administrator Cesar Correa made several suggestions for ways to allocate the surplus funds, including the rehabilitation of the tennis courts at a cost of $21,000, improvements to the community center building at a cost of $18,000 and completing the final payments for the Motorola lease. Correa said retiring the Motorola payment early will not only save nearly $2,000 in interest, but will also help with the anticipated need to hire two new employees, a police officer and a public works employee, in the 2018-2019 fiscal year. The council approved the allocation of the surplus funds to the community center improvements and the payment of the Motorola lease, leaving the remaining funds in the fund balance.
The council also discussed funding requests from the Stanly County Arts Council and the West Stanly Senior Center. Council members expressed an interest in helping to fund the senior center.
The senior center is in need of $25,000 to keep its doors open for the upcoming year. The county provided one year in funding for the senior center last year, but has made no promises to renew the funding for this year. The council discussed approaching county commissioners about their intentions regarding continued funding of the center and/or possibly partnering with the communities of Oakboro, Stanfield and Red Cross to provide funding for the center.
In other matters:
- No one spoke during a public hearing for the 2017-2018 budget. A second public hearing will be held on June 8.
- The new restroom building at the park is nearing completion. The existing park restrooms have been renovated into family restrooms and are now open to the public.
- The Safe Routes to School sidewalk project is underway. The asphalt track around the ballfields at the park is complete. Sidewalk construction has begun on Lions Club Drive. Once the sidewalk project is complete, the city is hoping to use any remaining grant funds to repave Lions Club Drive.
- A public hearing is scheduled for June 8 regarding a rezoning request for 902 E Main Street. The property owner has requested rezoning of the property to Highway Commercial.
- Ten new home permits from six different builders were issued last month.
- Six Locust police officers were nominated to receive awards at the Officer Jeff Shelton Foundation’s Thin Blue Line silent auction and awards dinner.
- During public comment, Coach Beast, head coach of the Stanly County King Cobras football team, addressed the council, providing updates about the team and thanking the mayor and council for their support. The King Cobras is a new, faith-based football organization in Stanly County. Coach Beast said the team is currently seeded number four out of 16 teams. Coach Beast presented Mayor Huber with a t-shirt in appreciation for his support of the team. The team will host an all-star tournament, The Battle at the Snake Pit, on June 10 and 11 at West Stanly High School. For more information about the team, visit the King Cobras Football page on Facebook. The team also has a fundraiser site at www.gofundme.com.