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Spring Lake receives positive financial report

The report covered the first seven months of the fiscal year.


SPRING LAKE - The Spring Lake Board of Aldermen on Monday was given a positive financial report looking at the first seven months of the fiscal year.

The report comes as the town starts the budget process for fiscal 2022-23.

“We are in a good position, and I’m very proud of the work our staff has done,” said Samantha Wullenwaber, deputy finance officer, interim town manager and budget officer for the town. “We are in full-blown budget mode for fiscal year 2022-2023.” 

The town will be following the general statute that governs the budget process since the Local Government Commission took control of Spring Lake’s finances and will be using its new accounting system for the second year.

The financial statement given to the board a few hours before Monday night’s meeting showed the expenditures and revenues since July, a period that covers a little more than 58% of the current budget year.

“The town has not operated in the plus in a long time and we are in very, very good shape,” said Wullenwaber, who thanked department heads for abiding by policies and requirements to help get them moving in the right direction. She also mentioned looking at ways to reduce the current furloughs.

The next monthly financial report will include year-end estimates from the town staff who got their requests to the town manager this week.

“It is very crucial right now that this is happening,” said Alderman Raul Palacios of the town working to rebound some of the town’s money and rebuild the fund balance.

Alderman Marvin Lackman asked about the property tax that was owed on properties owned by the town. Palacios also asked about the debt service that Wullenwaber said was around $423,601 this year.

Susan McCullen, director of the Fiscal Management Section of the Local Government Commission, said her staff would pull a report on outstanding debts for the board.

The budget must be approved by the end of June. The new fiscal year begins July 1. 

The town plans to host public hearings before the end of the budget process. The proposed budget will be available online and at town hall.  

Palacios also asked about potential exit strategies from the Local Government Commission. McCullen said those plans are centered around the fiscal accountability agreements so the community knows what needs to be accomplished before the Local Government Commission can return financial control to the town.

“We haven’t done that with Spring Lake yet because we are really not that far along yet,’’ McCullen said. “You are getting your first financial numbers tonight, which is a huge accomplishment and there is still some work that needs to be done before we can start that process.”

In other business, the board approved an on-call engineering services contract with six engineering firms and a resolution for the town to offer service line warranties to residents.

The board met in closed session for almost an hour and a half citing attorney-client privilege. The board adjourned immediately after coming back to open session with no further action taken.

Jami McLaughlin covers Spring Lake for CityView TODAY. She can be reached at jmclaughlin@cityviewnc.com. Have a news tip? Email news@CityViewTODAY.com.  


Spring Lake, Board of Aldermen, finances, Local Government Commission