Hertford to use $131K in fund balance


By Peter Williams
The Perquimans Weekly

Friday, June 15, 2018

HERTFORD — Balancing the town of Hertford’s proposed budget for 2018-19 won’t require a property tax increase but it will require town officials to tap $131,000 in fund balance.

The budget includes a 5-percent cost-of-living raise for every town employee and a salary increase for police department employees. The increase is “mainly to be competitive in wages with other police departments of our size and the recruiting process of employing police officers,” interim Town Manager Pamela Hurdle’s budget message states.

The increase in police salaries comes as town officials are searching for a new police chief. The current salary range for the police chief listed on the town’s website is $42,516 to $62,923. The starting salary for a police officer is $31,121, according to the website.

While the town has not seen a big increase in new construction, it is seeing an increase in housing renovations, which could increase Hertford’s tax base in the future, Hurdle said. Hertford got hit hard with the recent countywide property tax revaluation. The total book value of taxable property fell by 25 percent.

Hurdle is recommending the town board also consider a water/sewer rate study in the future.

“This fund needs attention in the way of a rate study and possible debt restructuring,” Hurdle’s budget message states. “I would ask you to keep in mind those two factors in this budget and future ones.”

Hurdle said the proposed 2018-19 budget is an effort to address current needs and control costs.

“All in all, I believe this budget meets the challenge of this economy and places the town in the better position possible, continue to build and grow where practical and keep the town’s funds healthy and at a level that also meets our financial commitments,” Hurdle said.

The town board will hold a public hearing on the budget at town hall Monday at 5:30 p.m. The town must have an approved budget in place by July 1.