Manager presents fiscal year 2024-25 budget: Solid waste and recycling, public safety top increases in costs to Clemmons

Published 12:10 am Thursday, June 6, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

CLEMMONS — Manager Mike Gunnell presented his fiscal year 2024-25 budget to the Clemmons Village Council in last Tuesday night’s meeting with the largest increases coming in predictable areas.

“Solid waste and recycling increased by 25 percent due to the increased cost to recycle, inflation and additional single-family residential units,” Gunnell said. “The village’s sheriff’s office contract for public safety increased by 12 percent. The sheriff’s office has seen a significant increase in personnel and vehicle costs, which are passed on to the village.”

During the meeting, the council approved an amendment to the agreement with the sheriff’s office for a total annual cost of $2,354,580.

“The standard contract with Forsyth County every year is amended and based on increases for salary and that kind of thing,” Gunnell said.

Gunnell said that a lieutenant position for the upcoming fiscal year has been added by taking away one of two corporal positions. Other personnel including one sergeant, two detectives and 11 deputies remains the same as last year.

“Adding the lieutenant position is a little bit of an increase in money,” Gunnell said, “but it gave us a position out there so we could finish out the progression.”

The proposed annual budget, beginning July 1, 2024, and concluding June 30, 2025, as presented is balanced, using the current property tax of $0.15 per $100 of assessed valuation of $11,960,500 for the General Fund and $1,882,565 for the Stormwater Fund (with the utility fee per equivalent residential unit of $90 per year) — for an overall total of $13,843,065.

“I have attempted to maintain a responsible budget to assure public value for the resources expended,” Gunnell said. “The current budget reflects an 11 percent decrease when compared to the amended fiscal year 23-24 budget.”

Gunnell clarified that the current 24-25 budget does not include the additional paving total of $1,542,915 of fund balance appropriated for streets in the 23-24 budget. 

“The last street assessment was completed in 2019,” he said. “We plan on having an updated report completed this summer. Therefore, we reduced the paving budget for next year.”

The breakdown of expenditures for fiscal year 2024-25 by function is as follows: Public Works, 31 percent; Public Safety, 20 percent; Administration, 10 percent; Capital, 10 percent; Grants, 10 percent; Streets, 8 percent; Planning & Zoning, 7 percent; Clemmons Events, 3 percent; Governing Board, 1 percent; Debt Services, 0 percent.

In his message to the council, Gunnell stated: “The budget being presented allows us to continue to provide exceptional service to our citizens by employing well-trained and highly motivated staff while funding public safety and strategic planning. The budget reflects the council and staff’s commitment to maintaining and improving this community and positioning it to be financially sound in the future.”

The council called for a public hearing at the next meeting on Monday, June 10, at 6 p.m. to adopt the Budget Ordinance and set the Stormwater Utility Fee Rate.

Also in last Tuesday night’s meeting, Larry Kirby, the longtime public works director and former town manager, provided an update on the Clemmons Historical Society.

Kirby said the group had shut down during COVID and that he had been approached last December about starting things back up. He was named chairman while Keith Parks is the vice chairman and Lyn Merritt is secretary.

Kirby, who said that the historical society will meet once a quarter, also reported on a recent meeting held with the Forsyth Historic Resources Commission for the America 250 celebration to held in 2026 and all the planning going into that big event. In the last council meeting, Lynette Fox, who is the events coordinator for the village, was appointed by council to serve on this committee representing the village of Clemmons.

During council comments, Bradley Taylor said he wanted to encourage Kirby to send any notes he would like to share when the Historical Society meets “so we can hear what they they’re working on and what they’re planning. History matters, and I’m glad to hear they’re back up and running, and I appreciate him being there.”

In other highlights from Monday night’s meeting, the council:

  • Appointed resolutions for tax collection by the Forsyth County tax collector for 2024 taxes along with for 2023 and prior years’ taxes.
  • Heard from Shannon Ford, marketing and communications director, that with spring sports now over at the Jerry Long Family YMCA, the Clemmons Farmers Market will move to the parking lot at the facility until the end August.