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Stem passes budget with stipulations

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STEM The Stem Board of Commissioners Monday approved a budget for 2019-20 that does not raise property taxes, but board members added stipulations to the budget’s adoption.

The biggest stipulation is that a budget committee will meet quarterly to review how the town is fairing against the budget. Also, that committee would be asked to find money to reallocate within the budget to fund any budget amendment of more than $5,000.

The board adopted the budget, keeping the tax rate at 45 cents per $100 in appraised property value.

The board agreed to some changes to the budget proposal before voting adopt it.

Mayor Pro Tem Susan Cope asked that money be redistributed within the events portion of the cultural and recreation section of the budget. Members of the board said she could distribute the events funds any way she liked as long as she stayed within the $11,450 budgeted for events.

The board also redistributed money within the community donations and budget request portion of the budget, but did not change the bottom line.

In other business, the town said it plans on closing on the Locklear property in central Stem July 26. The property has been surveyed and the board is waiting on final reports about possible contaminants in order to finalize demolition plans for the buildings.

Commissioner David Pavlus proposed a budget amendment of $2,000 to purchase mulch to put around new playground equipment. Cope asked for $1,000 for shelving for the mercantile building to store materials for events. Both amendments were approved.

Commissioner Kevin Easter and Vicki Garrett, town clerk, said they continue to work on a Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality grant from the Federal Highway Administration to fund sidewalks.

The board approved contracting with Matt Hastings to determine solutions for storm water flooding and erosion issues in The Highlands, The Reserve, Gooch Street and The Village.

The next work session will be 6:30 p.m. July 1.

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