Proposed Apex budget reflects increase in revenues

aramos@newsobserver.comMay 22, 2014 

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    Apex will host a public hearing on the proposed budget at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 3, at Town Hall, 73 Hunter St. The council is expected to adopt a budget June 17.

— The town’s budget would increase by $2.9 million in the coming year under a spending proposal, but taxpayers wouldn’t foot the bill through a property tax hike.

Instead, Apex would rely on projected growth to pay for capital expenses and additional town employees.

Town Manager Bruce Radford has proposed a $38.9 million budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Under Radford’s plan, some of the additional spending would go toward redesigning the town website; buying about 24 new vehicles for the police, fire, street and environmental services departments; a new sidewalk at Whitehall Manor; a weather station; and new roofs on the shelters and buildings in town parks.

Employees would also be eligible for merit pay, which averages about 3.6 percent, according to the draft budget.

Apex’s property tax rate would remain at 39 cents per $100 valuation.

Town leaders expect property tax revenues to increase by $815,000; sales tax by $775,000; residential permit fees by $350,000; and state Powell Bill road funding by about $50,000.

There are two major purchases in the proposed budget. The town would buy six acres behind Fire Station 3, and it would buy new vehicles, including 12 new police cars, two motorcycles, a fire rescue truck and a chipper truck.

Wake County has surplussed the land behind the fire station on Hunter Street, and Apex plans to buy it for about $683,500. It could be used for a future expansion or training center, Radford said.

“We have a regular replacement schedule for all of our vehicles,” Radford said. “But I’m the one that decides that a group of vehicles can last a year more. I’ve done that three years now. It is time for catch-up. When you begin to spend an extraordinary amount on maintenance, you are better off replacing it.”

The draft budget also includes eight new full-time positions: a code enforcement officer, construction inspector, fire training coordinator, two police lieutenants, a victims’ advocate, environmental specialist and street maintenance worker.

The new employees add about $537,283, to the town’s annual operating budget.

Ramos: 919-460-2609; Twitter: @AlianaCaryNews

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