It’s your money: Mocksville opens budget process

Published 1:45 pm Tuesday, January 23, 2024

By Jeanna Baxter White

Word Master Media Group

Budgeting is essential in securing a town’s financial stability and ensuring it has enough resources to meet its goals.

Mayor Will Marklin and the Mocksville Board of Commissioners invite residents to the town’s  budget retreat on Saturday, Feb. 10 from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. at Davidson-Davie Community College, 1205 S. Salisbury St., Room 110 of the administration building.

“Mocksville residents are invited to come out to the annual budget retreat and hear how your elected officials work through the budget requests and come out with a balanced budget to work with over the next year,” said Marklin. “These discussions are open to the public and answer any questions about where your tax dollars are spent.”

“Thomas Jefferson once said, ‘Good fortune is what happens when opportunity meets with planning.’ This is why the town has invested time, resources, and talent this budget year so we will be well prepared for the opportunities ahead,” said Town Manager Ken Gamble. “We are examining infrastructure, equipment, personnel, facility, and service delivery levels to determine where to strategically invest limited resources. The data and conclusions produced from the studies currently in process will inform our Strategic Plan, Capital Improvement Plan, Succession Plan, and annual budget for years to come.”

Gamble detailed these ongoing studies.

“The asset inventory and assessment studies for our water and sewer systems are providing a wealth of planning information at no cost to the town. The $400,000 we secured in state funding has enabled us to study the feasibility of new water meter technology, cross connections, and system modeling for the new regional water treatment plant in Cooleemee (Online in 2026), designing system development fees to offset the costs of development that impact our water and sewer system, updating GPS driven system maps and evaluating the age and condition of all water and sewer system components, just to name a few.”

He said the town is conducting a fire needs study with the assistance of emergency response professionals to determine staffing, facility, equipment, and apparatus needs for the next five years. “Mocksville continues to grow with more commercial businesses, over 2 million square feet of new planned industrial space, and over 700 single-family homes expected moving forward. MFD must be ready to meet the challenges this growth will continue to bring.”

Gamble said Mocksville is working with an engineering firm to assign a numerical ranking for all streets and sidewalks the town maintains based on condition. This will help develop a paving and repair plan. “This will help the board make informed decisions about the annual funding needed to manage this essential infrastructure effectively. All this information will guide and inform the decisions made in this budget year and future years.”

Inviting the public to attend the retreat is about transparency, according to Gamble. “The town wants to be transparent during the budget process and provide the public ample opportunity to be educated on its many challenges. It’s important for our residents to have the opportunity to learn about how local government works and how we spend their tax dollars.”   

The retreat will provide information for the board of commissioners, including current and future economic development trends, revenue projections, and recommended capital improvements.

The board will receive updates to the objectives, goals, and action items tied to the Strategic Plan and hear from department heads regarding needs for FY2024-25. Staff will also brief the board on recruitment and retention strategies to attract and keep town employees. The morning presentations will be followed by a hands-on tour at MFD Station 22 (335 Sanford Ave.) and Public Works (Behind Station 22).

The agenda:

• economic development forecast. Terry Bralley,  Davie County EDC;

• infrastructure, Chuck Willis, Willis Engineering;

  strategic plan update, Gamble;

• water & Sewer, Josh Powers, Envirolink;

• administration, Lynn Trivette;

• human resources, Emily Quance;

• community development, Jennifer Evens;

• recess meeting and reconvene at fire department;

• fire department and public works facilities tour, Chief Frank Carter and Brian Moore;

• static equipment display, Brian Moore and Chris Vaughn;

• working lunch;

• fire department, Carter;

• parks and grounds, Vaughn;

• public works, Moore; and

• final ttems and wrap-up, Gamble.

The budget retreat is one of the public meetings in the budget process. The budget will be discussed at the regular monthly meetings on Feb. 6 (non-profit presentations), March 5 (first draft and department head requests), April 2 (second draft and adjustments and corrections), May 7  (proposed budget and mnager’s message) and June 4 (public hearing, adoption of budget ordinance).

The public is welcome at all meetings, Gamble said.

For more information, call (336) 753-6700 or visit www.mocksvillenc.org.