DREXEL — Residents in Drexel likely won’t see a tax increase in the new fiscal year or any other rate increases, except maybe water/sewer.
The 2021-22 proposed budget for the town of Drexel is $4,435,384 and keeps the property tax rate at 38 cents per $100 of value. Electric rates also are recommended to remain the same other than a slight increase in the Renewable Energy fee, Sherri Bradshaw, Drexel town manager, said in her recommended budget message.
As for water and sewer rates, Bradshaw said she’s not proposing increased rates but it will depend on whether rates from Morganton and Valdese increase. The city of Morganton is not proposing a water/sewer rate increase. However, the town of Valdese is proposing a 3% increase in water/sewer rates.
The proposed Drexel budget calls for a solid waste fee of $8 a month, which includes household garbage, recycling, rough trash and yard waste.
The proposed budget calls for replacing a 2005 Ford Explorer reserve vehicle in the police department and routine replacement of uniforms
Bradshaw said in her budget message the R.O. Huffman Center will continue to be open part-time and offer youth recreation programs. She said roof repairs and repairs of the HVAC systems at the center are budgeted for the coming year.
The proposed budget includes a 2% cost-of-living increase for employees that would take effect Jan. 3, if approved. But it doesn’t recommend merit pay increases for employees.
As for the former Drexel Heritage property at 101 N. Main St., Bradshaw said the cleanup and redevelopment of the site will continue to be a priority in the 2021-22 fiscal year.
“We are finally in the position to start seeing results from all the effort put forth to date,” Bradshaw said in her budget message. “Get those shades out ‘cause the future is looking bright — we are moving forward!”
Bradshaw said cleanup of the site is expected to start in the fall, adding that development of the property will mean an increase to the town’s tax base, utility revenues and employment for residents. She said a project budget for the site will be presented to the board of aldermen for adoption at a later date.
In April, the town received a $500,000 Golden LEAF grant for the project. The town has previously received other large grants for the initiative.
A public hearing on the proposed budget is set for 6 p.m. on June 22 at town hall.