Thomas Jefferson once said that “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. We are examining infrastructure, equipment, personnel, facility and service delivery levels to determine where we need 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.
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 & sewer system, updating GPS driven system maps and evaluating the age and condition of all water & sewer system components, just to name a few.
The Town is also conducting a fire needs study with the assistance of regionally recognized 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 sqft of new planned industrial space, and in excess of 700 single-family homes expected moving forward. MFD must be ready to meet the challenges this growth will continue to bring.
Finally, we are working with an engineering firm to assign a numerical ranking for all streets and sidewalks maintained by the Town based on their condition and use this ranking to develop a well-thought-out paving and repair plan. This will help the Board to make informed decisions about annual funding needed to effectively manage this essential infrastructure.
All of this information will guide and inform the decisions made in this budget year and future years. The Board of Commissioners will be hearing about many of these needs during our annual budget retreat on Saturday, February 10th, from 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at Davidson-Davie Community College (1205 S. Salisbury Street, Mocksville). This meeting is open to the public and we encourage our residents to attend.
The retreat will provide a wealth of 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 directly from Department Heads regarding needs for FY2024-25. Staff will also brief the Board on recruitment and retention strategies to attract and keep the best Town employees. The morning presentations will be followed by a hands on tour at MFD Station 22 (335 Sanford Avenue) and Public Works (Behind Station 22).
This is only one of the public meetings in the FY2024-25 budget process. The budget will be discussed at our regular monthly Board of Commissioner meetings on February 6th (Non-Profit Presentations), March 5th (1st Draft and Department Head Requests), April 2nd (2nd Draft and Adjustments & Corrections), May 7th (Proposed Budget & Manager’s Message) and June 4th (Public Hearing / Adoption of Budget Ordinance). We encourage the public to attend all of these meetings to learn more about what your government does in the community.
I wish you and your families a happy, prosperous and fulfilling 2024.
Kenneth W. Gamble