Lewisville approves budget, delays Rural Overlay decision

Published 12:28 pm Monday, June 20, 2022

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By Jim Buice
As Stacy Tolbert recently took on the extra duties as interim manager to go along with being the town planner in Lewisville, Mayor Mike Horn talked about her now wearing two hats on the job.
That certainly was the case in the June Town Council meeting highlighted by her summary on the proposed fiscal year 2022-23 budget and being part of a discussion on possible modifications to the Lewisville Rural Overlay.
Hank Perkins, in one of his last acts as town manager before his departure to take a similar job in Lake Lure in late May, prepared a review of the budget ordinance before Tolbert took over and some final revisions were made after several budget workshops.
She presented the final budget, as adopted, with the proposed General Fund budget of $6,546,062 for the fiscal year starting July 1, maintaining the current 17.7 cents per $100 of valuation.
The budget shows an increase in the General Fund budget from the previous year, as adopted July 1, 2021, of $1,233,518 or 23.2 percent.
The budget, as proposed, is balanced with $1,205,260 in fund balance from the General Fund.
The estimated tax base for the town, as of May 1, 2022 from Forsyth County, is $1,677,399,050, producing estimated ad valorem tax revenue of $2,879,926 with one cent of the tax rate equaling $162,708.
The town also collects a levy for a municipal service district. The current tax rate is 5 cents per $100 of valuation. The proposed tax rate for the municipal service district for fiscal year 2022-23 is unchanged at 5 cents per $100 valuation.
“This will be 18 years without a tax increase,” Horn said, “and financially the town is in the best shape ever. We’ve been able to grow our funds, grow our reserves and do the projects for the town without imposing any additional taxes on residents.”
As of April 30, 2022, the overall General Fund balance, was just over $8 million; the Capital Reserves Funds balance was just over $1.6 million; the Capital Projects Fund balance was just over $1.3 million; and the Special Revenue Funds (from the American Rescue Plan) was just over $1 million.
After Tolbert’s presentation, a public hearing was held, where no one spoke, and the council then gave its approval unanimously.
The Lewisville Rural Overlay (UDO L-167) was another item topping the agenda for the council meeting after the Planning Board, headed by Tolbert, held a public hearing in its May meeting on the draft to amend the UDO section related to the Lewisville Rural Overlay (LRO) and Planned Residential Developments (PRD).
The Planning Board recommended approval to the Town Council, which held a public hearing during the June 9 meeting where several people spoke.
Ultimately, the council decided to continue the public hearing 60 days until the Aug. 11 meeting, after a motion by Horn, “because we want to do a little more work on the changes to some of the language.”
In the staff report, the request for the text amendment was made to officially define the area of the Lewisville Rural Overlay and to adopt a map showing the boundaries with the intention of further protecting the rural areas of the town, including scenic vistas, heritage corridors and lands along the Yadkin River.
In the summary, it was stated that this text amendment will clarify the LRO area and will no longer allow PRDs to be located in the YR, AG, RS-40 and RS-30 zoning districts, and it will not allow for private package treatment plans to extend into the LRO – adding staff believes this change to the UDO is reasonable and consistent with the 2022 Lewisville Tomorrow Comprehensive Plan and will make the UDO more easily understood and interpreted.
Horn, before making the motion, said when the town first adopted PRDs everyone thought it was a good idea.
“My concern with this particular revision is that removing PRDs completely, I’m a little uncomfortable at this point,” Horn said. “I’d like for the Planning Board to revisit it. Do we really want to remove PRDs entirely, or do we want to come back and say, let’s look at where the problem was that caused us to want to remove PRDs and then make the adjustments that we can? I’m a believer in PRDs. I think we’ve had a number of successful ones throughout Lewisville that have benefitted our residents.”
Tolbert said, “I think that there are ways we can accommodate what we’re still trying to accomplish. The Planning Board has started taking a look at PRDs in general and how our standards stand up to others.”
In another item on the agenda, the council approved a resolution to amend the contract with the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office to add an additional deputy, giving Lewisville 24-hour coverage with one sergeant and six deputies.
Also, the town is preparing for one of its biggest events of the year Saturday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. with the 7th Annual Lewisville Street Party and Food Truck Festival at Shallowford Square featuring “The Band of Oz” taking the stage at 7 p.m.
That will be followed by the Legacy Motown Revue Band appearing July 2 at 7 p.m. at Shallowford Square with American Legion Post 522 starting the night off with the presentation of the colors and the Pledge of Allegiance in honor and tribute of Independence Day.