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Hope Mills board gets proposed budget

The proposed spending plan keeps the tax rate the same and raises some fees


HOPE MILLS - The Hope Mills Board of Commissioners on Monday received a copy of Town Manager Scott Meszaros’ proposed budget for fiscal 2022-23.

The proposed budget keeps the tax rate at 46 cents per $100 of taxable property. It would raise the solid waste fees from $20.90 per month to $23 per month for garbage, recycling and yard waste.

Meszaros gave copies of his proposed $15.5 million budget to the board. Board members plan to discuss the spending plan during a budget workshop scheduled for 5 p.m. May 17. There was no discussion about the budget at Monday night’s meeting.

The proposed budget recommends two new positions: a Parks & Recreation athletics coordinator and a maintenance worker in Sanitation. Both positions would have a Sept. 1 start date, according to the manager’s budget message.

The proposed budget calls for a 1.75% cost-of-living increase for town employees that would take effect Jan. 1 and includes a 4.7% increase in employee health insurance, according to the manager’s budget message.

In other business, the board heard a presentation from Charlotte Robinson related to funding for the TJR Life Center, a 57,000- square-foot convention and sports complex. The center, which recently opened, is a multi-sport and fitness facility designed for residents and guests of Hope Mills and surrounding areas.

The center has five, full-size basketball courts that can also accommodate other sports, according to its website. The complex has a kitchen, dining area, classrooms and a barber station.

Though designed for all ages, the TJR Life Center’s goal is to help the “development of young people and live a healthier life,” according to its website.

Robinson is seeking a partnership with the town and the center, which was privately funded by Robinson and her husband, Thurston.

Robinson asked the board to consider joining the center’s two rehabilitation programs. One program is to have a midnight basketball league where kids ages 8 to 12 play against the police or fire department.

“In my mind, this will humanize both the Police Department and the kids, making the friction between the two less likely in the event they meet on a dark night,” Robinson said.

The other program, Robinson said, works with young people who get into trouble. 

“If a kid gets caught stealing from Walmart or something minor, the kid will be brought to the TJR Life Center,” Robinson said.

The center has a 12-week program with the goal of rehabilitating the juvenile rather than having a mark on his or her record. Robinson described the program as physical exercise, school work and community service.

Robinson asked the board for the same funding agreement it has with the YMCA. She said the center would appreciate anything Hope Mills could do to help.

In other action, the board:

*Voted to open the swimming area of Hope Mills Lake on Tuesday, May 3. The vote came after hearing a recommendation from Lamarco Morrison, the Parks & Recreation director.

*Voted to amend the town’s panhandling policy. The amendment makes it the responsibility of the person looking to solicit to get permission from the business, which puts the liability on the person panhandling rather than on the business owners. The amended policy makes the panhandling laws easier for officers to enforce and removes the burden from business owners, according to staff members.

Jason Canady covers Hope Mills for CityViewTODAY. He can be reached at jcanady@cityviewnc.com. Have a news tip? Email news@CityViewTODAY.com.

Hope Mills, Board of Commissioners, budget, tax rate