Bermuda Run eyes infrastructure, greenways

Published 8:49 am Thursday, May 26, 2016

BERMUDA RUN – Town Manager Lee Rollins has reviewed many different scenarios regarding the 2016-17 fiscal year budget after Davie County’s decision to change how sales tax is distribution.

However, the town learned on May 2 that the commissioners opted to maintain the status quo with a “hold harmless” provision in the coming year, meaning Bermuda Run would continue to receive the same amount of sales tax. The town would then be weaned by increments of 20 percent each of the next five years.

“All things being equal, I don’t think we could have asked for more,” Rollins said at last Tuesday night’s town council meeting.

The council called for a public hearing on the proposed 2016-17 budget to provide the opportunity for public comment in the next monthly meeting on June 14.

In his budget message, Rollins said the General Fund is proposed to be balanced at $1,795,000, the Gate Operations Fund is proposed to be balanced at $512,247, and the Utilities Fund is proposed to be balanced at $556,200.

The council will talk in more detail about the budget this year and going forward at the upcoming agenda meeting on Tuesday.

“We plan to have an extended discussion at the May agenda meeting looking at the variety of infrastructure projects and greenway projects that we’ve discussed,” Mayor Ken Rethmeier said, “to try to create a balance rather than picking one from one Column A and nothing from the other columns to try and ensure that we proceed with as many of the different kinds of initiatives that we’ve talked about previously.”

Rollins said the greenway and sidewalk projects are priorities the town wants to consider. He added that the town will review services provided and funding approaches as the sales tax portion is gradually reduced in the coming years.

Councilman Jerry West said he thought it was important to look at the value of the impact of what each project or initiative might bring along with perhaps putting some money aside in the next budget year.

“Something to consider when we get that hold harmless amount is that maybe we should look at putting that in a savings account for the future instead of spending it all in the next fiscal year,” West said.

Despite all the scenarios Rollins is working on, he said that it would ultimately come down to the council making the final determination.

“This is my proposed budget to you all,” Rollins said, “but at the end of the day when it comes time to approve, it’s up to you to decide.”

In other business, Rollins said that the Bermuda Run Tourism Development Authority has been seeking information on ways to establish the town as a destination for leisure sports and events, and looked forward to getting a report soon from DMO Proz.

The Wisconsin marketing group will be in town Monday and Tuesday, and in conjunction with this effort, a market analysis is being done on Twin City Soccer to determine data regarding the soccer complex and opportunities for growth.

Rethmeier said reports will also be coming in from Retail Coach in another marketing initiative.

“This bodes well with the other two activities in terms of budgeting to think accordingly,” he said.

Councilman John Guglielmi expressed concern about the lack of visibility for “Welcome to Bermuda Run” signs, pointing out how visible the Clemmons welcome sign is for those traveling across the US 158 bridge.

“As you cross the river and come into Bermuda Run due to regulations regarding safety in the roundabout, there have been additional signs that have been placed, and so you may visually lose it,” Rollins said of the welcome sign. “Our welcome signs are in the right-of-ways.”

Guglielmi also asked about no “Welcome to Bermuda Run” banners being up.

“I guess something’s in the works here because the poles look bare,” he said.

Rollins said that nothing was in the works.

“I’ve gotten complaints from what had been up for some time,” Rollins said. “I submitted to council several months ago some ideas, and I didn’t get a whole lot of traction. We’ll be happy to discuss it at the agenda meeting.”

Regarding the banner, councilwoman Shirley Cagle said that there is a committee made up of a couple of women on the Garden Club.

In other business, the town voted to appoint Wayne Thomas, who is the owner WinMock Barn and Sterling Events, to replace Angela Carleton on the Bermuda Run Tourism Development Authority.