February 13, 2018

MEMO TO:        Mayor Barber and Board of Commissioners

FROM:             Frank A. Rush, Jr., Town Manager

SUBJECT:       Budget Amendment – General Fund

The Board of Commissioners is asked to approve the attached General Fund budget amendment that formally appropriates an additional $15,000 for the creation of a new position to assist Town Administration staff and the Town Planner.  The attached budget amendment anticipates an additional $7,500 of sales tax revenue and an additional $7,500 of development permit fee revenue.

As discussed with the Board in recent months, workload demands continue to increase for both the Town Administration staff and the Town Planner.  If the Board approves the attached budget amendment, these funds will be used to hire an individual for a new position in April, and the budget amendment provides sufficient funds for this position through the end of FY 17-18.  Necessary funds for the new position will then be included in the FY 18-19 Recommended Budget presented to the Board in May.

The Town is on pace for more than 50 new residential construction starts during FY 17-18, which would be the most activity since 2006.  At that time, the Town employed 4 people (a Planner, an Administrative Assistant, and two Building Inspectors) to provide services.  The Town now relies on the equivalent of 2.25 people to provide these same services (a Town Planner, a contracted inspector through Carteret County, and approximately ¼ of the Administrative Assistant’s time).  Additionally, workload demands on the Town’s Administrative Assistant, Finance Director, Town Clerk / HR Specialist, and Town Manager continue to increase as new initiatives are pursued, our customers’ expectations increase, immediate information and solutions are expected, and digital communication continues to increase. 

The new position would be shared approximately 50% by the Town Planner and 50% by Town Administration staff, thus the attached General Fund budget amendment relies on 50% funding ($7,500) from higher than anticipated sales tax revenues, and 50% funding ($7,500) from higher than anticipated development permit fee revenues.  The Town is on pace to exceed the FY 17-18 budget estimate for sales tax by approximately $50,000, and is on pace to exceed the FY 17-18 budget estimate for development permit fees by approximately $20,000.

I have not yet finalized the exact duties of the new position, nor the position title, however, I continue to work with Town Administration staff to determine the most beneficial allocation of duties among existing Town staff and the new position.  I estimate that the total annual cost associated with the new position, including salary and benefits, will be in the $60,000+/- range, and I will provide further information to the Board prior to proceeding with recruitment efforts for the new position.

I recommend approval of the attached General Fund budget amendment.