Monday, 17 December 2018 17:19

Hamlet Council approves zoning request, receives audit report

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HAMLET — City leaders last week unanimously approved a zoning-change request, allowing an auto-restoration business to open on Raleigh Street.

The owner of the SMI building requested a change from light industrial to accommodate Refined Restorations moving there.

City Council members all voted “aye” after a public hearing yielded no opposition.

Also on the agenda was an amendment to stagger the terms of the planning and zoning board members so all don’t come up for reappointment at the same time — as was the case this fall.  

The length of the term went from five years to three years, with another slot for a board member in Hamlet’s ETJ requested to even out the representation on the board.  

Anyone living in the ETJ who is interested in applying for this board position is encouraged contact Gail Strickland at City Hall.

Ken Anderson, CPA, of Anderson, Smith & Wike, PLLC, reported audit findings for the city of Hamlet.

He said the general fund balance is at 42 percent, which is more than acceptable as the city is only required to be at 8 percent.

The liability of the post-employment health benefits is high due to the fact that there is currently no cut off of benefits at age 65 as is common practice with many municipalities. Anderson said that the increase in the water/sewer rates should cover the costs for these benefits.

Even though the tax collections rate is at what sounds like a healthy 96 percent, Anderson recommended this be increased to 98-99 percent. He said this higher percentage could be achieved with the use of an outside agency or in-house resources. 

With more than $200,000 currently past due, the availability of those funds to the city could make an appreciable impact.