The Selma Town Council narrowly approved a new fiscal year budget this week. During a special budget meeting on Tuesday, the Board voted 3-2 to pass the spending plan. Council members William Overby and Tommy Holmes cast the two votes in opposition of the $18 million spending plan.
The budget includes the hiring of one additional full-time firefighter, the purchase of work trucks for the Public Works and Recreation departments, and a 1 percent cost of living adjustment for town employees.
The board reduced computer-related expenses at the public library by $3,000. They also decided not to renew the lease of the parking lot at the Boys & Girls Club which had cost $1,200 a year.
Town Manager Jon Barlow said the tax, water and sewer rates will remain unchanged. The Town hopes an electric rate study can be completed in the coming months which could reduce power rates to residential and commercial customers served by the Town of Selma.
Councilman William Overby said he voted against the budget because the council still had two more weeks to look at the spending plan before it had to be adopted on June 30th. Overby felt more could have been done in the budget to support Public Safety.
He was also critical of the addition of a new Accounting/Billing Technician position because the job would be filled by a current staff member, and not advertised and the most qualified person hired for the job. “I was not sold on how the job was going to be awarded at this time.”