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Kure Beach Adopts Balanced Budget; Raises Trash Fees

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CAROLINA BEACH - The Kure Beach Town Council adopted their 2013-2014 fiscal year budget at their Tuesday June 18th, meeting. The $6.1 million dollar budget maintains the current property tax rate of $0.2615 for every $100 of property valuation while raising some fees. Those include raising residential garbage collection  from $4.00 to $6.00 per month, per can and raising commercial garbage collection from $17.50 to $26.25 per month, per can.
The budget also includes an additional four full time employees. Three for the fire department and one for the finance department.
There's a 3.5% merit pay increase to award employees for performance.
During a public hearing held June 12th, one resident asked the Council to consider a lower rate for part-time residents who sometimes only need trash pickup twenty times a year. She recommended a sticker be placed on trashcans indicating their part-time status.
Heglar said that would be nearly impossible to manage.
Swearingen said it would be hard to monitor when people were using their properties or renting them out.
There was some discussion about adding $10,000 into the budget to help fund dredging of the Carolina Beach Inlet.
The Town previously chipped in $15,000 along with other communities including Carolina Beach, Wrightsville Beach, the City of Wilmington and New Hanover County.
Federal and State funding to maintain the shallow draft inlet at the northern end of Pleasure Island has become an issue in recent years.
A couple of years ago area leaders and recreational and commercial boat captains worked together to secure additional local funding for dredging.
Council member Emilie Swearingen asked Budget and Finance Officer Arlen Copenhaver if he was aware of a request from Layton Bedsole with New Hanover County for $10,000 to be in the budget this year.
After lengthy discussion as to when a decision was made to include that money in the budget, Councilman David Heglar requested to see more information from previous meetings and noted that if funding is needed later in the year the Town has a contingency fund that could be used to approve such funding.
There was also discussion as to how the $10,000 figure was arrived at since Kure Beach is smaller than the other beach towns by population.
Mayor Lambeth said Wrightsville was asked for $5,000 but only included $2,500 in their budget.
Heglar said there was no need to change the budget that late in the process.
The Council voted unanimously to adopt the budget at their June 18th, meeting.