'Realistic' town budget lower than year ago

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The town’s new fiscal budget for 2022-23 awaits approval by the board of commissioners.

The proposed budget is $4,258,100 — more than $1.8 million lower than a year ago.

“[It’s] a budget that puts us living within our means and also meets the needs of the people of Mount Olive,” said Geoffrey Merritt, town finance director.

A property tax increase will not happen.

Residents will not experience an increase in water bills or other town services such as sewer and trash pickup.

The proposed water and sewer budget is $3,684,800.

An across-the-board employee salary hike of 2 1/2 cents has been requested. However, neither the mayor nor commissioners will receive a raise.

Here is a closer look at the General Fund breakdown by departments:

• Public works – from $1,058,200 to a proposed $812,000;

• Police – from $1,619,040 to a proposed $1,491,000;

• Fire – from $1,633,000 to a proposed $365,000;

• Parks & Rec – from $312,100 up to $370,800.

The town’s governing board budget showed a decline from the current $175,400 to a proposed $154,800.

The budget is available for public inspection for the next 30 days at the town clerk’s office and online at www.townofmountolivenc.com.

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