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BMA approves town budget for upcoming fiscal year

Members of the Jonesborough Board of Mayor and Aldermen, last week, passed a town budget for the fiscal year 2013-2014.
The $13.725 million budget includes a 5 percent pay hike for every town employee as well as $850,000 in borrowed funds for street paving and water line repairs.
(See story below for more on the water line project and read more about street paving plans on page 3A.)
The budget does not, however, include any increases of town property taxes, garbage fees or water and sewer fees.
Jonesborough Mayor Kelly Wolfe credited town leadership with “closely watching finances” in order to “avoid property tax increases.”
The ordinance establishing the property tax rate — $1.2810 per every $100 of property — also allows the town to issue tax anticipation notes for the purpose of funding authorized expenses until taxes and other revenue for the fiscal year are collected.
“We do not have any plans to issue tax anticipation notes,” Wolfe said. “We have funds enough to carry us through without doing that in our opinion.”
In addition to a 5 percent boost in pay for all town employees, the third such increase in as many years, the town compensation plan included a pay grade increase for Parks and Recreation Director Rachel Conger.
Formerly at a grade 16, Conger was moved up four grades to earn roughly $8,500 more a year.
With a new annual salary of approximately $49,000, Conger will now make as much as the town’s police chief, fire chief and several other department heads.