Laurinburg budget to consider utility rate cut

By Nolan Gilmour -

LAURINBURG —Laurinburg utility customers could see a drop in light bills next year as city officials look at how to cut rates as part of the upcoming budget.

The Laurinburg City Council is expected to discuss the proposed fiscal year 20127-2018 budget during tonight regular city council meeting. It starts at 7 p.m. at Council Chambers at the Municipal Building at 303 West Church St.

The city has recently received a four percent drop in its wholesale electric price and plans to lower the rates for customers after meeting with a consultant.

The budget does not call for increases in property taxes or fees. The plan calls for adding several new positions — a public information officer and Main Street program coordinator, an IT and fiber director and two additional police officers. There would also be $100 Christmas bonus for all employees.

The proposal may also include a three percent cost of living allowance for city employees.

There is a budget workshop planned for May 23 and the council has a public hearing scheduled for June 20.

In other business, council will consider a site plan for the proposed City Hall and police department project, as well as discuss and consider the authorization of staff to proceed with phase four of the project.

Also tonight, Scotland County Sheriff Ralph Kersey, who will give an update on the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office activity with the county’s Re-entry Council. The sheriff was originally scheduled to speak at the April meeting.

Other delegations include, Erin Rembert with the Scotland County Arts Council; Chris English, wi the Laurinburg/Scotland County Area Chamber of Commerce; Antwone Yelverton with Yelverton’s Enrichment Services, Inc.; and Pastor Tony Fairley with Life-Changing Ministries.

In other business, council plans to consider:

— A resolution of support for Richmond Community College’s request for approval of multi-campus status for Scotland County.

— A letter of support to the North Carolina Department of Transportation for Laurinburg pedestrian projects, including sidewalks and bike lanes, in the draft of the 2018-2017 State Transportation Improvement Plan.

— A resolution of support recommending UNCP professor Adam Walls for the James E. Holshouser, Jr. Award for Excellence in public service.

By Nolan Gilmour

Reach Nolan Gilmour at 910-506-3171

Reach Nolan Gilmour at 910-506-3171

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