The Mocksville Board of Commissions approved the Town’s balanced fiscal year 2022-2023 budget last week during its monthly public meeting.
Town Manager Ken Gamble presented a slide show overview and explained how the budget uses the Town’s fiscal resources effectively, prioritizes capital needs for each department, stabilizes the fund balance, and maintains a competitive tax rate. He shared the internal and external threats facing the town that influenced budget recommendations including the need for full-time staffing at the Mocksville Fire Department, aging/failing equipment and facilities, difficulty finding qualified candidates for entry-level positions, a lack of wayfinding signage, and ineffective code enforcement. External threats include rising inflation and labor shortage, supply chain disruptions, and increased pressure on infrastructure. The FY 2022-23 budget addresses each of these issues.
The most notable addition to this year’s budget is the hiring of six full-time firefighters. Currently, the Mocksville Fire Department is staffed by part-time and volunteer firefighters. Adding these full-time positions will allow the station to be staffed 24 hours a day.
“The Board of Commissioners made this investment in community safety because Mocksville had reached the point where our staffing model was not meeting our current needs and could not support projected residential, commercial, and industrial growth,” said Gamble.
The Town is now accepting applications, and Gamble hopes to have the new firefighters in place by November. He explained that the process for recruiting, testing, interviewing, and selecting the new employees will begin in June and conclude around the end of September. The employees selected will complete a month of training in October to familiarize them with Mocksville Fire Department policies, procedures and equipment, including operating fire vehicles. “This will be a robust process to select the highest qualified candidates available to serve our community.”
The Board will also consider hiring an additional 6 full-time firefighters if the Town receives a three-year $1,215,000 SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) grant from FEMA later this year.
Additional 2022-2023 Budget Highlights
- Partnering with Davie County and Bermuda Run to hire a full-time code enforcement officer. The code officer will work in Mocksville three days a week at a cost of $58,000 per year.
- Facility repairs and replacement of aging equipment – replace the fence at Mando Field, wheel loader, fire turnout gear and emergency equipment.
- Wayfinding signage to direct people downtown.
- A five percent cost of living increase for Town employees. The current inflation rate exceeds 8%.
- Implementing recommendations from the pay and classification study conducted by the Piedmont Triad Regional Council (PTRC). These salary increases for certain positions will allow the Town to be on par with surrounding municipalities.
Gamble pointed out that several of the projects completed in the current budget year (FY 2021-22) were funded with $297,000 in savings from the contract for law enforcement services with the Davie County Sheriff’s Office.
He explained that FY 2022-23 revenues and expenditures are estimated at $9,800,165. The Town’s revenue is derived from property taxes, vehicle taxes, sales and use taxes, services, and intergovernmental allocations. The Town also has $10 million in grant applications in process, $9 million of which are infrastructure requests.
Gamble reported that in addition to the partnership to hire a code enforcement officer, the Town is working with the County to identify and collaborate on projects that take advantage of regionalization to reduce costs for water and sewer services. He also thanked the Davie County Commissioners for providing supplementary resources to improve fire service in Mocksville and across Davie County.
“Partnerships will be vital as we move forward and consider ways to provide services to the community in the most cost-effective manner possible. The Town is committed to working with Davie County and others on mutually beneficial projects that maximize our limited resources and produce the best results for the community.”“
No citizens asked questions about the budget and it was approved unanimously by the board.
During the meeting, the board heard updates from other organizations:
- Carolyn McManamy, director of Davie CONNECT, gave an update about the Ignite Davie College Promise Program.
- Matt Reece, assistant director of the PTRC, presented the results of the classification and pay study conducted by the PTRC to aid the Town in recruiting and retaining employees.
- Michael Walser provided an update about the capital project ordinances.
A request to annex a portion of John Crotts Rd. for development has been delayed until next month’s meeting so that the planning board can first hear a rezoning request for the property.
The Board approved a request by Efincia Companies, LLC to rezone a 6-acre tract at 556 S. Main Street from Neighborhood Residential (NR) to Neighborhood Residential, Multi-Family Overlay (NR, MF-O).
The board approved two infrastructure contracts and amended the Brakebush Capital Project Ordinance:
- Contract 12.0 to Baker Underground for the pump station, force main and waterline project to serve Brakebush Brothers utilities- $3,631,821.
- Contract 15.0 to Gilbert Engineering Company for Bear Creek Station Improvements Wastewater Project – $356,796.
- Brakebush capital project ordinance amended to $4,128,908 to cover additional costs for construction contracts and engineering fees. Revenues include remaining grant funds of $2,160,000, municipal funds of $747, 694, and American Rescue Plan (ARP) of $1,215,214.
The meeting ended with the board approving a conflict of interest policy related to contracts and subcontracts for federal funds.Entire Budget Packet FY 22-23