Rollins presents budget in final meeting
Published 10:20 am Thursday, June 23, 2022
By Jim Buice
BERMUDA RUN – The last meeting for Lee Rollins as the town’s longtime manager coincided with the presentation of his final budget.
In his summary to council members last week, Rollins provided an amended General Fund budget to be balanced at $2,193,860, the Gate Operations Fund balanced at $674,600 and the Utilities Fund balanced at $530,850.
Rollins announced last month that he was leaving at the end of June to explore what might be next for him after leading Bermuda Run’s government since August 2009. He will remain as a consultant, as needed, during the transition with Andrew Meadwell, senior planner and director of Davie County Development and Facilities Services for the past 18 years, taking over as his replacement July 1.
After a public hearing, where no one spoke, the council gave unanimous approval to the 2022-23 fiscal year budget, which Rollins said “started back in January during our planning sessions and have worked through and discussed along.”
That continued with some final changes from an original figure of $1,934,000 for the General Fund. Rollins said that was due to the upcoming transition in leadership and to acknowledge updated revenue forecasts to reflect a revised total close to $2.2 million.
Rollins noted a projected increase in ABC revenues from $165,000 to $213,000 based on updated trends and an allocation of $200,000 in Powell Bill Fund Balance to provide additional resources for eligible street and right-of way maintenance.
The Gate Operations Fund shows an increase in gate attendant services contracted through Allied Universal, after the council, in what Rollins called “thoughtful review,” made the decision to increase net pay for gate attendants to reduce ongoing turnover at the gate houses due to the labor market and inflationary pressures.
That meant the budget must propose the per parcel gate fee to increase from an annual $462 to $551.34. (The gate fee is collected by Davie County and shows up as a line item on the Davie County property tax bill.)
Regarding the Utilities Fund, which remains unchanged from last year, Rollins stated that the fees for customers within the original section of Bermuda Run Country Club mirror the fees of eastern Davie water and sewer customers. Over time, this has allowed the build-up of sufficient reserves to pay cash for the Juniper Circle Pump Station and Wastewater Plant Decommissioning Project.
Mayor Rick Cross offered thanks to Rollins “for this final budget and for being such a steward for this town and a champion for this town and everything it stands for.”
Council members praised and thanked Rollins for his work, dedication and service in their comments with Heather Coleman and Melinda Szeliga saying his presence was instrumental in them seeking office.
“Just know you’re one of the reasons I’m here because, meaning I ran because I knew how wonderful the town you took care of and loved,” Coleman said.
And Szeliga added: “It is definitely one of the reasons why I chose to run for Town Council being new to the community because I knew we already had great leadership.”
Cross said that Rollins will be recognized in drop-by sendoff on Monday, June 27, from 4-6 p.m. at WinMock at Kinderton.
In other highlights from last Tuesday night’s meeting, the council:
• Heard from Rollins that for residents in Kinderton Village, “we are working with the contractor to attempt to complete that emergency access easement from RISE in July, weather permitting.”
• Also heard from Rollins that he and Meadwell met with John Grey, town engineer, and the contractor for the decommissioning of the wastewater treatment plant – speaking with residents on either side of the drive that goes down to it to let them know where the easement is located and to inform them as to what is to take place over the next six months or so. Rollins said that the date to start that project is July 25.
• Heard from Cross that the expanded Davie County library now has book lockers next door at the Davidson-Davie Community College Annex. He said those with a library card can go online and order a book, “and it will be delivered right here.”
• Regarding the Blue Heron Trail, Cross said that there is a bridge, which should be coming in the next month or so from North Dakota, that will be over the culvert along the highway.
• Heard from Cross of progress on the N.C. 801/US 158 intersection improvements with the most recent communication from NCDOT being that it is looking at right-of-way acquisition later this summer for the northbound lane. Utilities will follow early next year with construction on that additional lane coming in the spring or summer of next year.