Proposed budget sees reduction in Pinehurst property tax rate

PINEHURST — The Village of Pinehurst Council met Tuesday, May 10, to further discuss the proposed fiscal year 2023 budget and vote on multiple action items.

Village Manager Jeff Sanborn gave an updated presentation to the council on the fiscal year 2023 budget and strategic operating plan.

The Village is looking to have a $27.1 million budget, which is 6% above the 2022 amended general fund budget.

The proposed budget will also see a reduction in the property tax rate to $0.31, down half a cent from the previously projected rate. 

The budget also includes five initiative action plans that cover the nine strategic goals of the Village. These include an update to the Pinehurst Development Ordinance, small area plans for Village Place/Rattlesnake Trail Corridor and Pinehurst South/Hwy 5 Commercial Area, expanding and renovating Given Library/Tuft Archives, retrofitting current athletic fields at Cannon Park with synthetic turf and the relocation of the Public Services Complex.

The significant capital projects in the proposed budget include $1.24 million for the synthetic turf replacement, $1 million for the Given Library/Tuft Archives renovations, $400k for pedestrian facilities, $355k for stormwater drainage projects, $350k for potential land acquisitions for the public services complex relocation, $245k for garbage trucks and $200k for streetscape improvements.

There will be a public hearing for the proposed budget on May 24 and a vote to finalize it on June 14.

The Village Council also approved a one year formal agreement with Partners in Progress for continued economic development services.

Partners in Progress has worked as Moore County’s economic developer since 2015 As such, it has worked as the economic developer for all of the municipalities in Moore County. 

“Moore County will be trying to attract some of the types of support services and support industries that would be working hand-in-hand with larger development projects that are going on,” said Mayor Pro Tem Patrick Pizzella. “That presents opportunities and challenges for those of us in Pinehurst, but I think we’re well positioned for that.”

There are five municipal governments that work with PIP within Moore County – Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen, Carthage and Robbins – and although historically, the agreement has been based on a formal, written agreement between PIP and Moore County, there is not a similar agreement between PIP and the municipalities. 

The contract for Pinehurst is based upon the one with Moore County with dues costing $23,100 per year.

The council approved a resolution for the appointment of Cara Mathis to a two-year term on the Pinehurst Historic Preservation Commission.

“My family has been part of Pinehurst since 2008 and my husband and I just moved here permanently a year ago with our son,” Mathis said. “More than history and architecture, I have a love of Pinehurst history and architecture. I think it’s something we need to preserve because it’s one of the things that draws people to this place in the first place. I hope I can help bridge any existing gap between people who have been here a very long time and appreciate that history and the people who are coming in that are drawn to it, who might not understand just how deep it goes.”

The board passed another resolution, for a quality-based selection exemption to pursue a one-year contract renewal with CMS Engineering for traffic studies in Pinehurst, particularly intersections on Hwy 211, NC-2 and Morganton Road.

“Every year, we commission a study on the traffic on the majority of intersections on the state highways that traverse the Village of Pinehurst,” Sanborn said. “We don’t do them all every year. We do half one year and then half the next year. It’s time to renew that contract.”

CMS Engineering has been doing the traffic studies for the Village of Pinehurst since 2005 and due to a general statute in North Carolina, engineers, architects and surveyors have to be selected based on qualifications unless an exception is granted by a local council.

“It gives us the ability to understand and see trends of how our intersections are improving or getting worse depending on other actions that are taking place around us,” said Jeff Batton, Assistant Village Manager for Operations.

The council also approved a request for qualifications for Library and Archives Design Services to narrow down the field of applicants for the Given Library and Tuft Archives renovations.

The Village of Pinehurst Council will next meet May 24.

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