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Thursday, May 30, 2024

With EMS transferred to Brunswick County, proposed Leland tax increase dropped for 2019-2020

Brunswick County's contested termination of Leland's EMS program saved the town $1.4 million and a tax increase.

Though at first, it was an option, no tax increase is proposed in Leland for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. (Port City Daily/File)
Though at first, it was an option, no tax increase is proposed in Leland for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. (Port City Daily/File)

LELAND — Now that Leland is no longer responsible for funding its EMS system – now being taken over by Brunswick County – no tax increase is necessary to balance the town’s upcoming 2019-2020 budget.

Last month, the town included a 4-cent, 19 percent tax increase in its draft budget. With Brunswick County set to assume the town’s EMS system at a lower cost, Leland’s overall budget lightened by $1.4 million.

Related: Tax increase proposed in Leland for 2019-2020, budget talks next week

Leland Council will hold a budget hearing in June, which Council may then opt to approve. The 2019-2020 budget will take effect on July 1, 2019.

Budget highlights

With $27 million in operating expenses, the fifth-fastest growing town in the state is adding 12 new full-time positions.

  • This includes a new construction inspector and project manager, who will answer to the now-vacant position of town engineer. A purchasing agent will be added to the town’s Finance Department.
  • A new public utilities crew leader and streets maintenance crew leader and will get their respective new utilities maintenance worker and streets maintenance worker. Leland Police Department will add on both a new investigator and sergeant.
  • Parks and Facilities will receive two new maintenance workers and two seasonal camp counselor. And finally, the Planning Department will add on its own Geographic Information Systems analyst.
  • A new $30 municipal vehicle tax is being introduced, which will add an estimated $525,000 in revenues. These revenues will be used toward funding road maintenance and repairs.
  • System development fees will remain the same, bringing in an estimated $2.8 million for sewer and $510,000 for water.
  • In March, Council approved a motion to increase fire fees by 20 percent. This will take effect when the new budget cycle begins.

In the 2018-2019 fiscal year, as of mid-May 16, Leland has spent $2,249,223 on expenses relating to Hurricane Florence. The 2019-2020 budget does not include a line item for anticipated hurricane expenses.

Leland’s governing body legal budget will dip back down to $150,000 in 2019-2020 after more than doubling in April to $515,000.

Check out the town’s full 2019-2020 draft budget ahead of the June 3, 6 p.m. public hearing at Leland Town Hall.


Send tips and comments to Johanna Ferebee at johanna@localvoicemedia.com

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