Mint Hill board holds budget workshop

Mint Hill commissioners and staff meet to discuss the 2013-2014 town budget. PHOTO BY DEREK LACEY

Mint Hill commissioners and staff meet to discuss the 2013-2014 town budget. PHOTO BY DEREK LACEY

The Mint Hill Board of Commissioners met with other town leaders to discuss and plan the 2013- 2014 budget at a workshop meeting Tuesday, April 23.

Budget requests were presented from Mint Hill Fire and EMS, public works and police department, and commissioners approved special requests from nonprofits in Mint Hill.

David Leath, Fire/EMS Director presented the Fire Department’s budget report to the commissioners. The budget will stay much the same as the 2012-2013 budget, requesting more money for uniforms, turnout gear and office supplies.

Leath requested $20,550 for new uniforms, a cost that breaks down to $925 per employee, as well as $12,500 for five complete sets of new turnout gear, and $2,000 for a new computer for the department.

Tim Garner, public works director, presented the budget request for the public works division, which included four items: a backhoe at $93,500, two mower decks at $12,800, lettering and decals for trucks at $2,964.00, and repair costs for the town’s street sweeper, at $58,659.

Garner and town commissioners also discussed a possible arrangement with surrounding towns to provide a street sweeping service, which could help to pay for repair and other associated costs.

Mint Hill Police chief Tim Ledford presented the budget requests for the police department.

Ledford initially wanted to retire the two police dogs and suspend the canine program at the police department for two years, an effort to save money, but after discussion with the commissioners, the canine program will stay at the police department, but specifics have not been finalized. Two new dogs will cost approximately $25,000, and training of two officers would be included in that price.

“I am in favor of definitely keeping the program active,” said Mayor Ted Biggers. “I think $25,000 is not a lot to invest in something that can be of great value.”

The dogs, Ajay and Bady, were presented to their handlers Thomas McKenzie and Damir Mahmotovic, by the town at the April 25 Board of Commissioners meeting.

Ledford proposed that the police department change its dispatching service from Matthews to Pineville, a move that could save the town as much as $27,500, per Ledford’s request.

Ledford also spoke to the commissioners about new and changing expenditures for the new facility at the old town hall, and official police vehicle expenditures, with the possible establishment of a system to replace a few cars each year.

The board also reviewed and approved funding for area nonprofits that requested help from the town.

The Mint Hill Athletic Association received $60,000, Mint Hill Historical Society $60,000, Idlewild Volunteer Fire Department $190,000, Levine Senior Center $5,000, Chamber of Commerce $7,200, Kid’s Vot- ing $2,500, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4059 $4,000, Mint Hill Arts $5,000, Mint Hill Youth Football $4,000, and Pottery 51 $3,000.

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