FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 26, 2019
Council approves FY 2020 budget
Rocky Mount, N.C.
The Rocky Mount City Council approved the FY 2020 budget during the June 24, 2019 council meeting. The new budget is balanced without a tax rate increase or increases to the city’s utility rates.
The city of Rocky Mount’s total operating budget for FY 2020 is $220.1 million, a 6.2 percent increase over the adopted budget for FY 2019. The budget includes initiatives that address council priorities, such as access to safe, quality and affordable housing; opportunities for economic development in the downtown area; enhancements to city parks, recreation facilities and to City Hall; and programs benefitting neighborhood associations.
For the new fiscal year, an additional $350,000 has been added for new housing development, raising the total housing investment to $1 million. The funds will address specific needs of the city’s 14 identified economically distressed neighborhoods.
Economic development in the downtown area has been prompted by the completion of the Rocky Mount Event Center. The budget funds $5.53 million for the full-year operating and debt service costs for the center. In the downtown area, $1.78 million will be appropriated to fund underground electric utilities and for the first phase of a multi-year plan to rehabilitate downtown storm drainage.
In an effort to improve businesses downtown, the council also approved an additional $130,000 for existing and new grant programs such as the existing Downtown Business Assistance Program and the recently established Façade Improvement Grant, as well as a new roof grant.
Necessary renovations to parks and recreation facilities has also been a priority for council, resulting in $720,000 added to the budget for improvements to Marigold and Lancaster parks, repairs to Denton Street Pool and recreation facilities in the Battleboro Community, along with the development of a master plan for Battle Park.
The Frederick E. Turnage Municipal Building (City Hall) will also receive much needed repairs thanks to council’s approval of $1.64 million in appropriations. The rehabilitation of elevators, elimination of moisture intrusion in the stairwells and the renovation of the first and second floors for the opening of the new One Stop Shop, are among the list of items that need attention. The One Stop Shop will house permitting, inspections and planning in one location with the necessary advanced technology to make it easier for the establishment of businesses in the community.
The FY 2020 budget is also comprised of extra funding for programs implemented by the city’s neighborhood associations. Additional funding of $50,000 will be utilized for grants of up to $2,500 for landscaping and gateway signage. The expansion of neighborhood events is also a reason for the added dollars.
For the complete FY 2020 budget, visit www.rockymountnc.gov. The budget is included on the homepage under news and on the Budget Office webpage.
Rocky Mount was incorporated as a town in 1867. However, the city had its beginning in the early part of the 19th century. It centered around the first post office which was established at the Falls of the Tar River on March 22, 1816.