ARCHER LODGE — The town’s spending plan for the year ahead continues the practice of banking money for a future police force.
Last week, town leaders unanimously approved their 2014-15 budget, which gives more money to outside groups that handle the town’s planning, zoning and recreation. But the budget also earmarks $50,000 in town savings for public safety.
This is the third consecutive year Archer Lodge will move money from general savings to capital reserves, with the idea that the money will eventually equip a town police force.
“We figure at some point in time it’s going to be necessary, and we are trying to set ourselves up for down the road so we don’t get hit over the head with a hammer when that time comes,” said Councilman Carlton Vinson.
The Johnston County Sheriff’s Office currently responds to calls in Archer Lodge.
“We have almost no crime in Archer Lodge,” Vinson said. “We don’t really have a business district, and we don’t have a lot going on other than normal.”
The $819,520 budget maintains the town’s property-tax rate of 15 cent per $100 valuation.
With just Town Clerk Jean Overton on its payroll, Archer Lodge has relied on private contractors and community agencies to carry out basic services typically provided by towns. Proposed spending in the next fiscal year includes:
• Nearly $61,000 for planning and zoning services through N-Focus Planning and Design Inc., a Kannapolis firm. The money pays for a zoning administrator who works at town hall at least two and a half days per week. The spending is nearly double what the town budgeted for planning and zoning services this fiscal year.
• About $70,000 for the Archer Lodge Community Center, which hosts two soccer leagues, plus baseball, lacrosse and some non-sports programming. The town budgeted $2,750 for recreation in 2011-12, $10,000 in 2012-13 and $15,000 in 2013-14.
• About $180,000 to the Archer Lodge Fire Department, a standalone agency that provides fire protection inside the town limits. The allocation of $180,391 is slightly lower than the $183,761 budgeted for fire services in 2013-14.
The budget also includes $20,000 for street repairs and about $25,000 for a new parking lot beside town hall.
To access the full budget document, go to www.townofarcherlodge.com/documents/budget.
Dunn: 919-553-7234, Ext. 104