Board approves budget rezoning

The Carthage Board of Commissioners approved the 2021-2022 budget of $5,878,648 at its special meeting on June 30. Property tax and water and sewer rates will not increase.

The financial benefit of increasing development is not expected to make an impact for two years at an increase of .58% in property taxes, the main income for the town.

Under the new budget, Fred Smith Paving will repave the lower half of Pinehurst Avenue and Chip Seal residential streets. Smith’s proposal was for $200,000 to Chip Seal six streets. But to stay within the $142,000 Powell Bill budget, some streets will not be paved.

The original streets to be paved are Davis Street, Sanford Street, Park Street, Westview Road, Degraffenreid Road and Sunset Drive. It has not been decided which of these streets will not be paved.

 A portion of Pinehurst Avenue, from Cagle Lane to the town limit sign, which is owned by the town, will still be repaved. Sunset Drive will also be repaved with Chip Seal.

The new budget does not cover new emergency personnel hires, but the town has applied for a Fire SAFER grant which would cover two firefighters for three years. The town also applied for a COPS grant for a police officer for three years, and the grant would cover 75% of the costs. The grants do not cover existing positions.

An evaluation of raising taxes may be considered for the 2022-2023 budget if grant funds are not awarded to cover emergency personnel.

In other business, the board modified the town’s development ordinances. The modifications were made to be compliant with the state’s Unified Development Ordinance 160D.

According to Town Planner Kathy Liles, under the modified ordinance, personal considerations may now be heard.

Before the modification, violating setbacks with a ramp for personal considerations, such as needing a wheelchair, was not considered due to physical restraint ordinances of the property.

Another modification is the definition of standing on who has authority to speak on quasi-judicial proceedings and special permit hearings.

Also, the town will no longer regulate the appearance of single-family homes, except in the historic district.

A public hearing was held on proposed developments at the meeting.

The board voted 2-1 to rezone the proposed Carriage Hill Development from R-20 to R-10 for single-family residential between Pinehurst Avenue and South McNeill Street.

Little River was not prepared to address a special use permit and will be heard July 19 at 6:30 p.m. at the McDonald Building located at 207 McReynolds Street.

Jennifer Donovan was named a member of the Appearance Committee for three years. She earned a bachelor’s degree in agronomy from North Carolina State University and owns Shady Maple Farm, LLC.

The Appearance Committee was asked by the Board of Commissioners to provide feedback on the proposed landscaping plan for the county’s courthouse project, but the town will not oversee the project.

Written by Sandhills Sentinel Reporter Stephanie M. Sellers.

Feature photo by Sandhills Sentinel Photographer Melissa Schaub.

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