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The Town of Black Mountain adopted its 2019-20 fiscal year budget on June 10.

The $11.5 million budget, which is up 3.45% from the previous fiscal year, will go into effect on July 1.

“We’ve been working on this since February, it’s taken a lot of hard work from staff and I appreciate their commitment. I also appreciate the direction from the board,” said town manager Josh Harrold, as he presented the budget during the public hearing. “I think this is a good budget we’re proposing.”

The budget includes a 2.5% cost of living adjustment for town employees and maintains the town’s current effective property tax rate of 33.25 cents per $100. Mayor Don Collins touted the the town’s tax rate as among the lowest in Buncombe County.

“(The rate) makes us second, on paper, as far as the lowest tax rate in municipalities in the county,” he said. “The only one lower than we are is Biltmore Forest, and they are a quarter-cent lower but they don’t have a fire department or a recreation department. We’re spending half-a-million dollars on recreation services in this budget, and that is more than any town our size in Western North Carolina, per capita.”

The budget will allow the town to continue providing "all of the same services" to residents, while reducing the town's debt by over $500,000, according to Harrold. 

The town manager highlighted notable additions to the proposed budget. 

"We're doing a handful of things," Harrold said. "We put $60,000 in reserve for new tennis courts, we're continuing to fund a fire truck for the department and we're doing a little more street paving than we have in the past. That number is up from $100,000 to $150,000 and we'd like to continue to get that figure up, as street paving continues to be an important issue."

The 2019-20 budget, which can be reviewed at townofblackmountain.org, also provides funding for a new officer in the police department and turnout gear for the fire department. 

With Ryan Stone absent, the board voted 4-0 to approve the document. 

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