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Carrboro Town Council hears presentation on 2024-25 budget in work session

The flags near Carrboro Town Hall is pictured on Friday, Sep. 15, 2023.

During its Tuesday night work session, the Carrboro Town Council heard from the Town's finance director Bret Greene about the state of the 2024-25 fiscal year budget. 

What's new? 

  • Greene presented a budget review for the 2024-25 fiscal year. 
    • “The goal of tonight is to be sure, as staff is preparing their budgets and we are aggregating that information, for you all to formally go line by line and see the numbers and balancing act that is the budget process,” he said. 
  • Greene said, as of March 25, the finance department has been fully staffed and will not be putting in a request for additional staffing for the next fiscal year. 
    • He said the department’s duties include general fiscal responsibilities, reporting, insurance and payroll. 
  • He explained the finance department considered a variety of macroeconomic factors when creating the budget, including equality versus equity, the upcoming general election, inflation and climate change.  
    • “Not drawing any conclusions, but it is an election year,” Greene said. “So what does that mean? It means uncertainty, it means some risk that every three out of four years isn’t there. So it's just a consideration.” 
  • Some of the primary budget considerations include investments in Town staff, public transportation, rewriting the land use ordinance, human services and capital planning, according to the presentation.
    • Greene presented a three-pillar approach for investing in Town staff that included a 10 percent salary increase for existing Town employees, a staff study with an anticipated completion date of Fall 2024 and a compensation study anticipated to start in the summer.
    • Public transportation was the most expensive line item outside of personnel for the town. 
    • Mayor Pro Tem Danny Nowell and council member Randee Haven-O’Donnell both asked for more information about the investment in public transportation by the Town the next time Greene reports to the council. 
    • Greene said capital planning was a large and comprehensive consideration for Carrboro because of the Town's age. 
      •  "The newest buildings even need significant considerations for capital upgrades," Greene said.
  • Nowell asked about the possibility of the Town taking on debt to address some of the primary budget considerations, particularly capital planning. 
    • "Historically, Carrboro has been incredibly frugal with operating expenses and has perhaps not utilized debt as efficiently as it should," Council member Catherine Fray said.
    • Outside of what was taken on for the 203 Project, an upcoming library and cultural center still in construction, Greene said, the Town does not have much debt, and there is capacity to take on more if needed. 
    • Often, he said, taking on debt puts the burden on the current community and future residents. Sharing the burden is important because capital improvements could last for the next 50 years, serving both current and future residents, Greene said.
  • Greene added that the budget must be available for public viewing for at least 10 days before adoption by the council. 

What decisions were made? 

  • Because this meeting was a work session, no decisions were formally voted on by the council. 

What's next? 

The Carrboro Town Council will hold its next meeting on Tuesday, April 23 at 7 p.m.

@DTHCityState |

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