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New public hearing planned in town’s budget process

Nov. 3. By Dave Vieser. Following an initiative started last year by the Cornelius Town Board, a new early public hearing has been added to the town’s annual budget approval schedule. The added public hearing for the 2021-2022 budget is tentatively scheduled for 7 pm Tuesday Jan. 19 at Town Hall.

Speaking at the Town Board’s Monday Nov. 2 meeting, Finance Director Julie Niswonger “the intent of the new public hearing is to allow ample opportunity for citizen input into the upcoming year’s budget early in the development of the FY 22 budget.”

Previously, the only public hearing on the budget was usually held in May, after a draft fiscal plan had already been formulated and submitted to the commissioners.

The theory for the early public hearings is to provide an opportunity for input from citizens to be heard and factored into the final product rather than limiting citizen comment to just the end of the process. The same procedure has been successfully used for town board rezoning hearings since 2019.

Also at the Town Board’s Nov. 2 meeting:

—Accepted the new Nannie Potts Lane for town maintenance. Even though the town constructed the road, the Town Board needed to formally accept the road to receive state maintenance funds.

—Approved write offs totaling $16,379.07 for uncollectible Electricities accounts from 2017. The town does so annually after accounts have been declared uncollectible for a three year period.

—Declared five former Ford Motor police vehicles with high mileage as surplus items subject to sale by the town. The sale will include radios, sirens and other items contained in the cars.