Davidson Town Board’s monthly work sessions are usually discussion-only meetings where no formal actions are taken. That won’t be the case this Tuesday, June 26, when the board is scheduled to vote on several critical matters: the 2012-13 budget, a tax-incentive package for MSC Industrial Direct Co., and an unexplained “settlement agreement.” The meeting begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Town Hall, 216 S. Main St.
The agenda for Tuesday’s meeting lists a closed sessions before and after the public meeting, as well as a vote on a “settlement agreement.” Town Manager Leamon Brice on Saturday would not explain the item further.
The town is in the midst of defending itself from a lawsuit brought by CommunityOne Bank over last year’s rezoning of the former Davidson East site off N.C. 73 in east Davidson. The bank owns the site after its 2009 foreclosure on the failed development. But it wasn’t clear if that was the subject of Tuesday’s discussion and vote.
There’s been little news about the suit since January, when the town asked a judge to throw out the lawsuit. One significant development that could change the picture for the bank, however, was the early May announcement that it has agreed to sell a portion of the Davidson East site to Carolinas HealthCare System, for a proposed $36 million mental hospital.
BUDGET: TAX RATE UNCHANGED
Davidson solid waste fees
2011-12 2012-13 Singe-family $201.00 $201.00 Multi-family (per unit) - Davidson Landing $85.00 $100.00 - Spinnaker Point $73.00 $88.00 - Linden Court $73.00 $98.00 - Spinnaker Reach $63.00 $82.00 - Deer Park/Broadway $125.00 $72.00 - Cotton Gin Alley NA $97.00 - Oak Hill Apts. (complex total) $5,219.00 $6,084.00 - Lakeside Apts. (complex total) $4,350.00 $5,956.00
The proposed $8.9 million budget would keep the tax rate and storm water fees the same as this year, but would slightly raise the trash pickup fee for those in apartments and condos.
The budget and fee schedule had been scheduled for a vote at the commissioners’ regular monthly meeting June 12, but Mr. Brice asked the board for a delay. He said the town and its contractor, Republic Services/Allied Waste, were still negotiating an agreement to begin biweekly recycling using roll-out cards, and reconciling the total number of households the company serves in Davidson.
If the board approves the budget Tuesday, Davidson’s property tax rate would be unchanged from this year, at 35 cents per $100 of assessed value. That means the owner of a $150,000 home would continue to pay $525 in town taxes annually, while the owner of a $400,000 home would continue to pay $1,400.
[County taxes come on top of that. The Mecklenburg County Commission recently approved a slight cut in the tax rate, to 79.22 cents per $100 of assessed value. So total county and town taxes on a $150,000 home this year would be about $1,713, while the owner of a home valued at $400,000 would pay about $4,570. ]
The solid waste fee would stay at $201 a year for those in single-family homes. It range from $72 to $100 in the town’s condos and townhomes.
The town’s fee schedule also adjusts some planning department fees and creates a new $25 annual “peddler’s license.”
The budget got a boost last month when the town boards of Davidson and Mooresville reached an agreement that cuts Davidson’s annual obligation to help cover MI-Connection Communications System’s debt to $1 million a year, from what had been an anticipated $2,087,000 in the coming year. The town plans to hold the extra $1.087 million in a contingency fund until later in the year, when it could transfer the money to reserves or reallocate some or all to other town projects.
Mr. Brice told the Town Board that the budget includes a few changes from earlier versions: It adds funding for maintenance at Abersham Park, the new River Run Greenway, and along Main Street. The town also will upgrade its computer system to a new “cloud server” and pay for a rewrite of the planning ordinance. And it would create a pool that would allow raises equal to 1 percent of the town payroll.
For comparison, the 2012 schedule of fees, as revised Jan. 1 (PDF)
INCENTIVES FOR MSC
Also on Tuesday, the board is expected to vote on the town’s share of an economic development incentive package for MSC Industrial Direct Co. Inc. The Melville, New York-based industrial distributor announced last week it plans to build an office in the Harbor Place development, off I-77 Exit 30 in Davidson. The company plans to create up to 400 jobs in the next five years at the site, which it describes as a customer service center and “co-headquarters.”
As the town competed for the project, dubbed “Project Husker” by local recruiters, state, county and town officials put together an incentive package totaling more than $14 million. That includes $12.75 million in state grants, and about $500,000 each in tax refunds from the town of Davidson and Mecklenburg County.
Davidson’s share of the incentives would come in the form of a 90 percent property tax refund over five years. Based on preliminary estimates of the value of the planned project, the tax refund could total about $98,000 annually ($486,000 over five years), according to town officials.
The company would be required to meet targets for creating the new jobs. Town officials said the remaining 10 percent of taxes would cover the town’s costs, such as providing police and fire service. After the five years, the town would reap 100 percent of the taxes, an estimated $108,000 a year.
Download a consultant’s report prepared about Project Husker/MSC, which includes a detail analysis of the project’s economic impact and the proposed incentive package (PDF).
See also the June 26, 2012, proposed resolution authorizing tax incentives for MSC Industrial Direct Co.
Download a copy of the agenda, with related documents, including the 2012-13 budget and a resolution authorizing the MSC incentives, on the town website, CLICK HERE»