Capital improvement exceeds half-million
Marvin council members moved another step closer this week to approving a $1.3 million budget that in draft form includes more than $535,000 in park construction, pay raises for staff, increases in council member stipends and for the first time; a stipend for members of the Village zoning and park boards.
While the Village’s budget encompasses both operating and capital expenses, the largest overall expenditure is the building of Marvin’s new park facility, purchased this past February for $950,000. All told, twenty-five park related projects are listed in the 2011-2012 capital budget; the most costly is $200,000 for upfitting the former Efird home into a town hall.
The other major expenses listed includes $50,000 each for the restroom, playground and storage area construction, $30,000 for the road re-paving and $20,000 earmarked for barn construction. Lesser costly items include tree-planting, $5000; installation of a park gate, $5000; water irrigation, $5000 and landscaping along the front of park by New Town Road for $3000.
The funding for the park improvements is drawn from the Village’s fund balance of $1.3 million, which includes a $750,000 bank loan Marvin received days after the town had paid cash for the park land acquisition.
“I want to make sure we’re not pulling everything out of the fund balance” Councilman Anthony Burman said.
Marvin’s Finance Officer, Jeff Phillyaw, who assured the Council that the Village will have a fund balance in excess of $800,000 after the park expenditures.
The draft operating budget shows major increases over the previous year in most categories; for example, the aforementioned Salaries, increased by $29,000; Zoning, increased $21,000 which includes $15000 for a revision of the Land Use Plan; Professional Services, up by $20,210 and Public Safety, up by $60,231, which includes $55,000 for the hiring of a part-time off-duty Deputy Sheriff.
“As I understand this, we are hiring another Deputy Sheriff for 3 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the evening, 365 days a year” Mayor Pro Tem Ron Salimao said, “and he will open and close the park and patrol areas as needed.”
Mayor Nick Dispenziere explained the hiring an off-duty officer is different from a Union County contract deputy that Marvin and most of the neighboring municipalities hire to insure local police coverage. “I am really behind this” said Councilman Ross Overby enthusiastically.
The budget will be finalized for the June 14 Village Council meeting where a public hearing date will be set, to be followed by a Council vote to adopt the budget.
“I am happy we are allocating some additional funds for Council stipends, Board stipends, we are also increasing salaries for staff, looking at each one individually, we’ve invested in additional public safety with an additional police officer,” Salimao said during closing comments. “So if you look at what we’re spending our money on, we have a balanced budget, we are investing in the future and I feel really good about were we are going.”