Lewisville approves budget, other contracts: Town suspends some annual capital reserve fund additions; Horn plans to run for mayor again

Published 12:10 am Thursday, June 15, 2023

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While approving a balanced General Fund budget of $6,213,377 for fiscal year 2023-2024 that maintains the current property tax of 17.7 cents per $100 of valuation and delivers municipal services and projects as promised, the Lewisville Town Council also decided to suspend annual contributions to several Capital Reserve Funds.

In last Thursday night’s council meeting, Pam Orrell, finance director, gave the breakdown of eliminating earlier proposed funding in ordinances for three capital reserve funds in the fiscal year starting July 1 at a total cost of $380,000 — Great Wagon Road right-of-way/construction fund ($115,000), Municipal Buildings and Land fund ($170,000) and the Public Works facility fund ($95,000).

In addition, the annual contribution to Parks and Recreation fund was lowered from $400,000 to $100,000. The scope was also amended, as Orrell read: “The Town Council hereby creates a Capital Reserve Fund for the purpose of purchasing land for parks and, or constructing amenities and facilities for parks and recreation that may include a dog park, an all-inclusive park and any other parks and recreation amenities deemed appropriate.”

Town Manager James Ayers pointed out that the Sidewalk, Bike Paths and Greenways fund received its full allocation of $25,000 because Lewisville is actively working on sidewalk projects with engineering design expected to start in the coming months.

“Every section of the budget was reviewed with an eye toward fiscal responsibility, including the capital reserves,” Ayers said. “Although the Parks and Recreation Capital Reserve Fund currently has enough money for the Jack Warren Park improvements project, the amount of $100,000 was allocated to the reserve to enable (the) planning of future park facilities.

“Contributions were suspended on the Great Wagon Road reserve fund because the current balance is adequate to fund the town’s contributions to the project. Contributions to two other reserves were suspended as well, including the Municipal Buildings and Public Works Facility funds, because we don’t have active projects in these two cases, and we will be assessing future facility needs as part of our Capital Improvement Plan process during the upcoming year.”

In other action from last Thursday night’s meeting, the council approved an interlocal agreement for three years with the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office for community policing. Lewisville’s annual fee of $787,910 for fiscal year 2023-2024 includes one sergeant and six deputies.

The board also approved updating and modernizing the Comprehensive United Development Ordinance (UDO) at a cost of $149,575, with Kimley-Horn being selected to do the work.

Stacy Tolbert, assistant town manager and planning director, indicated that it had been a long time coming and that she was very excited about this project.

“This will include an assessment of our UDO,” Tolbert said. “(It) will take a look at our standards and how we align with general statutes, our definitions, subdivision ordinance, environmental ordinance, zoning ordinance and compile all of those into a more unified ordinance than what we actually have now.

“Following that work, they will also update our zoning map. Some of those things may change. We anticipate having a lot of community involvement, a lot of planning board involvement and a lot of town council involvement through the process. The last task would be a manual to help more easily guide all those that will be using the document.”

Ayers also gave an update on the Gateway project, with work underway on improvements to the entrance into Lewisville off of U.S. 421.

“We continue to be on schedule and making real good progress,” said Ayers, who added that a two-week look ahead will be placed on the town’s website to keep everyone updated on where things stand.

Upcoming events include the 9th Annual Street Party & Food Truck Festival on June 24, from 6-9 p.m. at Shallowford Square.

The Band of Oz, a longtime crowd favorite in Lewisville, will perform from 7-9 p.m.

A week later, on July 1, the ’70s Kids — Solid Gold Tribune Band will be on the stage at the square from 7-9 p.m. with a mix of music, including disco, yacht rock, party, reggae and classic rock from various artists.

Before the monthly town council meeting, Mike Horn announced his plans to file for re-election as mayor.

“For the last several months, I’ve been considering whether I should run again,” Horn said. “On one hand, I’ve been doing this for a while, and maybe there’s someone else who wants to step up to lead our little town. On the other hand, I know what’s on the horizon for the next couple of years and believe that I can still be of value through my experience and through the trusted relationships that have been built and nurtured over the years.”

Horn, who was first part of the council in 1993, has served five terms as mayor and eight as a council member.

“To the many of you who have shared your thoughts and encouragement over recent weeks in helping me think through this decision, I say ‘thank you,’ ” he said. “I value your opinions and your friendships. And I guess I am somewhat selfish in my reasoning, too, because I really love being your mayor and still feel like I have a lot to offer.

“That said, and with the encouragement of my wonderful wife and so many of you, I plan on filing for re-election as your mayor. I make this decision confidently and with enthusiasm that with your help and support, we will continue to do great things together in Lewisville.”

The filing period for the 2023 municipal elections in Forsyth County begins July 7 and runs through noon on July 21.