INDIAN TRAIL – Parks and sidewalks will dominate Indian Trail’s budget when it’s presented to council in May, though town manager Joe Fivas doesn’t expect there to be another tax increase this year – unless leaders ask for one in the next few weeks.
“A lot of these projects we have right now are things we started in this current year and extended over (into the next year) … so there isn’t too many new things (to add), we’re just implementing what we started,” Fivas said.
Those ongoing projects include the town’s two new parks – 51-acre Chestnut Park, where among other things Carolina Courts will reside, and the 140-acre Sardis Park, where a number of athletic fields could bring in baseball and softball tournaments and the tourism dollars that follow. Bonds for the parks and other projects will soon be sold, town leaders say, and will be paid off using money set aside by last year’s 4-cent tax increase.
The increase was proposed last year after Fivas’ budget recommendation was already in, which is why the town manager said, as of now, he doesn’t expect another tax increase this year.
“At our current service rates, we don’t need to have a tax increase,” Fivas said. “If council decides it wants to add some services, that might change.”
“We have proven success of being very efficient and very conservative in our approach to providing our services,” Fivas added. “The capital reserve fund (created by last year’s tax increase) allows council to do those outside projects they may not have been able to do before” without Fivas having to find ways to pay for them.
In addition to the two parks, Fivas said this year’s budget will include work on around four miles of sidewalk projects – the Unionville Road sidewalk, roughly from Walmart to the new Sardis Park, and the Rogers Road sidewalk, from Wesley Chapel Road to Old Charlotte Highway, which should start later this year. The majority of these projects is being paid for by air quality grants and Powell Bill funds.
The budget also will include suggestions for improving the look of Indian Trail and helping visitors navigate the growing town. Fivas said his proposal will include wayfinding signs and means to point out key spots in town – something already being studied in Indian Trail – as well as methods of “sprucing up the town” by finding a way to keep streets clean and upgrading town technology.
Department managers are still completing their budgets, Fivas said, and he will be ready to present his proposal to council in the first week of May. That will be followed with a public presentation on May 14, then a public hearing on May 28.
Council will vote on the budget following that hearing and must approve a budget by the end of June to continue funding town operations. Otherwise, an emergency spending measure will need to be put in place.
The proposed budget will be posted to the town’s website, www.indiantrail.org, when it’s ready.
Copies of the document will be available at the town’s administrative offices.