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City budget up for public hearing

Staff Writer

Lincolnton residents will have the opportunity to address their concerns with the City Council’s proposed 2014-2015 fiscal year budget at the council’s meeting Thursday night.
Council members spent several hours in budget workshops last month discussing and debating the proposed budget changes.
In his City Manager’s Monthly Activities Report, Jeff Emory said that at the end of the public hearing in June, the council may adopt the budget for this upcoming fiscal year. However, one item that has yet to be addressed is the ongoing discussion of water sales to Lincoln County.
“One item that is still out there that has not been addressed in the budget is the potential for additional revenue related to water sales to Lincoln County, and additional expense if the city pays more for animal control and 911 services,” Emory wrote. “This may be a reason to delay the adoption of the budget until later in June.”
Emory is expected to give an update on the proposed contracts with Lincoln County at the meeting on Thursday. He will also give council members an update on potential incentive programs that could be available to the city.
City council members will determine the fate of an interlocal agreement between the city and county regarding a mass notification system, which would replace the current WENS System agreement. According to Emory, the three-year agreement would cost the city $7,384 the first year and $6,836.59 the second and third year.
City Attorney T.J. Wilson is expected to update council members on the feasibility of incorporating prayer into city council meetings. The Times-News previously reported city council member Larry Mac Hovis brought a recent Supreme Court ruling on the issue to the council’s attention, making a motion to bring prayer into city council meetings by means of a clergy member.
At that time, city council member Dr. John Cloninger was the first to oppose the motion, stating that the ruling need to be further investigated. While council member Devin Rhyne supported Hovis’s motion, he suggested postponing the decision until more information could be offered to the council.
Lincolnton’s City Council will meet Thursday at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

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