SP to hold public budget hearings; releases proposed budget

The Southern Pines Council was updated on the budget for fiscal year 2021-22 Monday, May 24. Staff gave the update at the council’s work session, which was held virtually.

According to information provided, there has been no change to the proposed budget that will impact the General or Enterprise Funds. Any alterations involved typos, the planned transfer of System Development Fees to Water and Sewer Capital Project Funds, and the “splitting out” of some funds previously placed in the “Recreation Improvement” CPF into the new and separate “Reservoir Park Dam” CPF.

The first public hearing on the budget took place May 11. A final public hearing, along with a vote on the matter, is slated for June 8.

Town Manager Regan Parsons discussed the status of cleaning up the lake in Warrior Woods. Over the last two fiscal years, residents living along the lake have come forward regarding the issue, including the introduction of non-reproducing carp to clear algae and undesired plant growth in the water. 

The requests were based on the notion of wastewater spills and overflows, occurring over the years, contributed to the growth. Although it couldn’t be determined sewage incidents caused or were a direct contributor to problems in the lake, Parsons developed a plan with representatives of lake owners/developers that could alleviate concerns of homeowners and protect the town from long-term liability.

The project would start with the adding of an herbicide — approved by the EPA — that would be followed by introduction of carp into the lake. It’s estimated the project would cost a little more than $16,000. The town would be making an effort to address the issue, but provides no guarantee, under the agreement, the program will work.

Parsons also reviewed rules — recently established by the United States Treasury — and the impact they would have on funds the town receives under the American Rescue Plan.

At the top of the session, Mayor Carol R. Haney stated the meeting may be the last held virtually due to the COVID-19 crisis.

~Written by Sandhills Sentinel Reporter Dave Lukow.

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