Stallings nears completion of capital plan

STALLINGS – Town leaders met Tuesday, May 28, to put the final touches on the Stallings Capital Improvement Plan before it’s possible adoption on June 10.

Stallings leaders have been working on the CIP for a few years, but this will be the first time a formal five-year plan has been drafted and approved by the council. Even if approved, the plan isn’t necessarily a final blueprint for future town development. The plan can be altered and any projects can be added, deleted or modified by council.

“The minimum you have to (review the CIP) is every year, but if you needed to make a change next month you could make a change,” Finance Officer Kirk Medlin said during the meeting.  “Nothing here is an absolute, even though we are talking about it in forms of adoption. … It really is a living, breathing document.”

The town will pay for most of the capital projects through its fund balance – a type of town savings account – or with grants or assistance from organizations who will benefit from the projects, such as Union County. Council plans to replenish its fund balance each year to continue supporting the capital projects.

Although the plan is fluid and can change throughout the years, many council members expressed their support for finally having a document to work from when planning for future projects.

“The CIP, whether it’s 100 percent correct or 100 percent wrong, is a plan. It’s a thought.  It’s an idea.  It’s a guide,” Mayor Pro Tem Reed Esarove said.  “…It kind of gives me an idea of what we are going to be looking at five years out. Overall, I think it’s a good plan.”

Council plans to discuss the CIP further and possibly adopt the plan during their June 10 meeting at 7 p.m. at the town hall, 315 Stallings Road.  Council also will hold a public hearing for the budget and possibly adopt the proposed budget during the meeting.

Some of the projects on the five-year plan include:
• Stallings Municipal Park: $136,398 for the last phase of the project – $68,199 from a grant and the other half from the fund balance, all to be completed in the coming year.
• Pleasant Plains and Potters Road streetscape: $3.9 million for the whole project with about $1.2 million coming from the Stallings fund balance and all other funds from the North Carolina Department of Transportation and Union County.  The project should be completed over the next two budget years.
• Street resurfacing: $1.6 million could be spent on resurfacing and improving roads throughout the town in the next five years.  Some funds for the project will come from the Powell Bill and others from the fund balance.
• Pedestrian Plan: For the coming budget year Stallings has $483,500 planned for two sidewalk projects – one along Lawyers Road and the other from the Fairhaven subdivision to Stallings Elementary School.  Other sidewalk projects have been discussed for the next five years, but no plans have been confirmed at this point.

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