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Monday Council Budget Hearing

05/30/2019

The Clayton Town manager presented his recommended FY 2019-2020 balanced budget at Monday’s Town Council meeting/public hearing on May 20th.

Several Council members wanted more information about some Capital Improvement Projects (CIPs)and voted to continue the hearing and hold public discussions on May 29th to more closely examine the CIP and proposed bond referendum in reference to the tax rate. They cut some projects from the budget and will hear a new presentation from the Town Manager on the projects that would be made possible maintaining the current $.58 percent tax rate. 

Residents have shared concerns about the state-mandated revalaution which raised homeowners' property values throughout the county. Although the budget proposes to keep the Clayton tax rate unchanged, residents will see higher property tax bills due to the re-valuation. 

Council voted to continue the public hearing to June 3rd Town Council meeting which begins at 6 p.m. in the Town Council chambers. You can read the Town Manager's updated budget presentation by clicking here. You can read recommended budget and budget message by clicking the links below. The budget must be adopted by July 1, 2019. 

You can read Monday night's full Council agenda by clicking here. 

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TAX RATE REMAINS UNCHANGED TO HELP MAKE $70 MILLION in PRIORITY PROJECT POSSIBLE: The Clayton Town manager presented his recommended FY 2019-2020 balanced budget at the Town Council meeting/public hearing at 6 p.m. May 20th. This was thesecond public hearing regarding the town’s upcoming budget, which outlines proposed spending from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020. The Town Manager presented key points and decisions regarding the recommended budget. Council must adopt the budget before July 1, 2019.

SPENDING=REVENUES: Town Council gave clear direction that they expected a budget that would allow them to consider both wants and needs for improvements for the town, but they were also clear they wanted a budget that did not increase or decrease the existing $0.58 tax rate. Town management and staff worked to make tough decisions to balance the budget that was nearly $7 million out of balance after initial department requests. Now total expenditures and revenues match at $29,962,754 for the General Fund, $27,809,010 for the Water & Sewer Fund and $14,734,677 for the Electric Fund – for a total Town budget of $72,506,441.

HIGHLIGHTS AND FEE/COST INCREASES:

  • The balanced budget addresses needed immediate projects like fixing streets (with an annual recurring commitment of $1+ million), increasing downtown parking, and adding firefighters, inspectors and storm water staff.
  • Council will be asked to approve a 9% water/sewer rate increase which means the average in-Town Clayton homeowner will see a $11.72 increase per month combined for water/sewer beginning July 1. Clayton is experiencing the same pressure that water and wastewater systems across the state are experiencing and we are not alone in seeing rising costs and rate- click here to learn more. Staff and Council recognize that does not lesson the large impact this increase would have on residents, especially those on fixed incomes.
  • To avoid adding additional staff and replacing aging equipment, the Town is capitalizing on the incredibly successful contracting relationship that residents have enjoyed with All Star Waste. So this budget recommends outsourcing loose leaf collection to All Star, which is currently a duty of town staff. Adding loose leaf to their contract, rising recycling costs, and a Consumer Price Index adjustment, will lead to a $2.43 pass along increase per month for solid waste. The current $18.07 monthly charge would rise to $20.50 on July 1.  
  • Council will ask the voters to consider an $18 million bond referendum in November 2019 to authorize low-interest borrowing for several parks and recreation related capital projects to serve seniors, special needs and populations of all ages.  Improvements are being proposed for the town’s oldest park, Municipal Park, along with East Clayton Community where a playground is being designed to accommodate children of all abilities, Community Park and the popular Clayton Community Center, where a partnership with Johnston County Senior Services will bring expanded space for programming. Like the budget, this proposed bond would not call for a tax rate increase.

Click here to read the complete proposed 2019-2020 Budget

For a more in-depth explanation of revenues and spending, personnel, and projects recommended for this budget, click here to read the Town Manager’s Budget Message.

To read more about significant cuts made to the budget, capital items left in the budget and a breakdown of monthly increases for the average homeowner, click here to view the Town Manager’s PowerPoint presentation.

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