COL 6-6-19

Lincolnton City Council approved the fiscal year 2019-2020 budget on June 6.

The $29,036,999 City of Lincolnton budget was approved unanimously at the June 6 City Council meeting with no public comment being made at the meeting. The city tax rate will remain at 56 cents. No increases are made to electric or water and sewer rates.

This budget includes a general fund budget in the amount of $11,818,700, which contains the majority of city services, including public safety, solid waste, street, finance, planning and zoning, recreation, business and community development, and the human resources and city manager/city clerk’s office. 

The bid for the police department project from T.C. Strickland Construction Company in the amount of $1.4 million, which was the lowest of four bidders, was discussed at the meeting. 

“This is more than what we had originally anticipated the project to me,” city manager Steve Zickefoose said. “The figure that I’ve been using is about $1.1 million. In talking with Randy Baker (Pinnacle Architecture), he feels like there’s definitely room for this cost to be less.”

Zickefoose said that construction costs are up and contractors are going to continue to be busy. He also listed potential savings in the amount of $22,200 per year for rent for the detective office space which would be $330,000 over five years which could potentially offset the higher cost. In addition, the police building that is in use now is valued at $840,000, which could be sold in the future.

“We still have significant amount of capability here to recoup some of the costs, just not immediately,” he said. “My thinking is that we recognize Strickland as the low bidder and move forward with the project.”

After discussion, the council voted to accept T.C. Strickland Construction Company with the ability to have Pinnacle Architect attempt to renegotiate the price not to exceed $1,350,000 and if that can’t be done, more discussion will be had at the next meeting of City Council.

Also at the meeting, the council voted to amend the City’s Code of Ordinances to prohibit parking of oversized vehicles, containers or trailers in any residentially zoned area of the city. Previously, the ordinance allowed parking of said vehicles for 24 hours during a seven-day period. Exceptions are made to this rule for vehicles being loaded, unloaded or in the performance of service to or for property located adjacent to the public street or a vehicle temporarily rendered inoperable by mechanical difficulty for the time necessary to render repairs, but not to exceed three hours.

“There’s always the option to apply with me and if it meets the safety guidelines that we’re looking at, we can give them an exception for that day,” City of Lincolnton Police Chief Rodney Jordan said. “Even if somebody had to drop a dumpster for a day and it’s in a safe manner, we could allow that if they had permission.”

Application would need to be made 24 hours in advance.

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