Danbury approves $64,260 budget

The Danbury Town Council approved a $64,260 budget last week, electing to balance the budget with the town’s fund balance instead of raising taxes for town residents.

Under the approved budget, the town will appropriates an estimated $6,361 from its fund balance to meet the town’s financial needs in the coming year and residents will conitnue to pay 27 cents in taxes per $100 in assessed property value.

The budget also includes a new component, approved by the council last month, which sets a minimum fund balance for the town at $32,500, 50 percent of the 2014 expenditures, for the 2015-16 fiscal year.

The town council also gave unanimous approval for the Stokes County 2035 Comprehensive Land Use Plan after holding a public hearing on the plan.

The plan provides a guideline for growth throughout the county and will require approval from each of the county’s three municipalities, and the county itself, before it can be fully enacted. Danbury and Walnut Cove are the first two governing bodies in the county to approve the plan.

The council also set a public hearing on July 22 for a rezoning request from RiverStreet Networks to rezone a portion of county owned land on Sheep Rock Road from Institutional to Business-2.

“When we have a public hearing on this in July, you will consider only the general use aspect of the request,” Town Administrator Mike Barsness told the council. “You have to ask if B-2 makes sense in this neighborhood, not what it is going to be used for.”

The property is intended to be used as a a retail location for RiverStreet Networks, the new company working on providing high-speed internet access to un- and under-served areas of the county.

Town decertifies portions of several streets

Following a recommendation from Barsness, the council unanimously agreed to remove several portions of town maintained streets from its list of Powell Bill funded streets.

“The state closely scrutinizes those designations and they can audit what we are claiming as Powell Bill streets,” said Barsness. “We need to be able to survive an audit and I am doubtful that two or three street portions really qualify.”

The Council agreed to decertify the portion of Camping Creek Island Road that extends past the sewer line, the portion of Sheep Rock Road that extends beyond the last house and all of Petree Road.

“The town has no interest in maintaining Petree Road for now, but I would recommend keeping it because that whole B-3 area could be developed and the developers could improve our road for us,” said Barsness. He added a recommendation that the town re-gravel the portion of Camping Creek Island Road that leads to the sewer line.

The Council also unanimously agreed to cede control of Bank Street to the county as part of the preparations to provide a permit for the new arts center planned by the Stokes County Arts Council.

“The county cannot find who owns it, and I cannot find who owns it,” said Barsness. “I would recommend we give it up so we no longer have the duty to upkeep a street that serves as an alleyway in the center of what will be a county complex.”

Nicholas Elmes may be reached at 336-591-8191 or on Twitter @NicholasElmes.

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