By Susan Dickson
CHAPEL HILL â€“ The Chapel Hill Town Council voted unanimously on Monday to approve the townâ€™s 2012-13 budget, with no property-tax increase.
Town Manager Roger Stancil had previously proposed a budget that included a half-cent tax increase to fund increasing transit costs, but council members ultimately decided to transfer $364,000 from the general fund to cover the transit increase.
The budget holds the property tax rate at 49.4 cents per $100 of property valuation, $988 for a $200,000 home. Overall, the townâ€™s general-fund expenditures are up 3.7 percent to $52.4 million from $50.5 million in 2011-12.
â€œI think you should be proud that the Town of Chapel Hill has made it through that recession without raising the tax rate during that time,â€ Stancil said.
The budget reestablishes Community Center Pool hours for Tuesdays and Thursdays, funding the expanded hours through an increase in the fee for private swim lessons from $15 to $20 and a $1 increase in the daily admission fee at all pools. A number of residents had expressed concern regarding cuts to daytime hours at the pool in the 2011-12 budget.
The proposed budget also includes a 3 percent raise for town employees, who have not received a salary increase since 2008-09; the reinstatement of the townâ€™s $43,000 July 4 fireworks event; filling seven vacant police positions; $111,000 in street-resurfacing funds; and $240,000 to finish work on the townâ€™s fiber network. The budget also uses about $1.5 million of fund balance, the townâ€™s savings account.