A public hearing was held at the last City of Lincolnton Council meeting on June 4 to receive comment on the proposed 2020-2021 budget. Unlike the public hearing held by the Lincoln County Commissioners which had numerous individuals commenting, the city budget elicited no public comment.
The budget didn’t include any tax or utility increases. Pay increases for city employees will be frozen until it’s economically feasible, which could be in January, or possibly sooner or later, City Manager Steve Zickefoose said. Capital projects, with the exception of the new police department building or a project that may be necessary for operation purposes at one of the city’s water plants or wastewater plant are frozen as well.
“I think it’s a good budget,” he said. “It doesn’t cut the level of services we’re offering to residents. It’s because we’ve been fruitful in previous years with operating costs to be able to have an adequate fund balance to help us work through these types of pandemic situations. That’s one of the reasons we do that – so we can minimize impact on citizens.”
The $30,500,391 budget was approved unanimously.
- Council approved an application from Untapped Territory for a business incentive grant in the amount of $15,000 for building renovation to accommodate an expansion into the adjacent building at 124 East Water Street.
- The formality of a resolution creating the City of Lincolnton Emergency Small Business Loan Program was passed. According to Zickefoose, 18 applicants have been approved for loans in a total amount of approximately $219,000 (total for all applicants). This program offers emergency loans through the city to help downtown business owners get through the COVID-19 pandemic. The city took $300,000 out of their general fund to offer these loans. A small business owner can ask for up to $5,000 this month and if the economy is better in another month, perhaps they won’t need as much in the upcoming months.
- A resolution authoring approval of consulting firm selection and cost sharing with Lincoln County for the updated Recreational Master Plan was approved.
- A resolution authorizing a payment plan for water and/or wastewater services subject to Executive Order 142 in response to COVID was approved.