Town in good financial shape

The Town of Aberdeen is in good shape financially. That was the status reported to the town board Monday evening.

Town of Aberdeen Finance Director Butch Watson reported that the town’s General Fund grew significantly last year. For the fiscal year 2021-2022 to date, the town has collected $8,701,000 with expenditures of $5,521,000. This has resulted in the town’s General Fund Balance growing to $12,348,000.

Town Manager Paul Sabiston reported on the status of the town’s American Rescue Plan Act funds. Congress approved ARPA in March 2021. Aberdeen received $2,500,000 with half being deposited in July 2021, and the balance expected this July. Even though the town received the funding, what was missing was clear guidelines on how the money could be spent.

Recent guidance from the Treasury Department permits the funds to be used for any town expense (with a few exceptions, such as funding certain pension plans). Sabiston stated, “I hope when asked how these funds were used, I can be able to say we paid for a great school with an awesome gym, or we finished a sports complex that will be used for 50 years.”

Town Public Works Director Harold Watts presented the board with a request to purchase a knuckle boom truck. A knuckle boom (also known as an articulating crane) is used for lifting heavy items and loading-unloading equipment. The town currently has two units, with one out of service.

The town does not have a vehicle rotation plan. According to Watts, they will run their vehicles into the ground to get the maximum use out of it. The oldest truck in the fleet is 10 years old and needs to be replaced. There was a time recently when both trucks were down, and it caused some significant problems.

The town received a call from its vendor. The Town of Hickory had ordered a new truck, but the crane uses levers instead of joysticks, so they did not take delivery. The town had a budget for a replacement truck with joysticks to be ordered in 2022, with delivery sometime in 2023. The originally budgeted amount was almost $180,000. However, the town was offered this unit for a discounted price of $159,000 with delivery in a couple of weeks. The board approved the sale unanimously.

A public hearing was scheduled to consider an annexation, but the applicant was not prepared, and it was rescheduled for February.

The next town board meeting is a work session scheduled for Feb. 14 at 6 p.m.

Sandhills_Sentinel~Written by Sandhills Sentinel Reporter Chris Prentice. Contact him at [email protected].

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