<img class="size-medium wp-image-51980 alignright" src="https:\/\/theenterprise.net\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/23\/2021\/04\/budget_1619518200-300x200.jpg" alt="" width="300" height="200" \/>By Taylor Boyd\r\n\r\nThe Stuart Town Council will hold a public hearing to discuss the proposed budget for fiscal year 2021-2022 on May 19.\r\n\r\nThe total general fund expenses for FY 2021-2022 is $790,050. The increase in the general fund balance is $150,350. The major expenses are $60,000 for debt retirement, which is down from $64,000 in FY 2020-2021, $295,000 for salaries and wages, which is an increase of $73,500 from FY2020-2021, and $90,000 for professional services, down by $15,000.\r\n\r\nMayor Ray Weiland said the only major tax change would be the retail tax.\r\n\r\n\u201cOur retail tax is currently 10-cents per $100, and we\u2019re looking at bumping that to 13 cents. According to what we\u2019ve heard from municipalities, it is more in line with what we should be charging for that,\u201d he said.\r\n\r\nSince the county is reassessing property values, Weiland said the town\u2019s property taxes will be revenue neutral.\r\n\r\n\u201cSo, whatever you paid last year, you\u2019ll be paying this year. We are just maintaining a revenue neutral and adjusting the rates, so it is equal to what you paid last time,\u201d he said.\r\n\r\nThe budget also proposes $1 per hour raise to all town employees.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe\u2019ve been trying to get all of our people up to a reasonable rate and try to pay our people a little bit better,\u201d he said, adding that even with raise, the overall increase to the budget from last year is $8,600.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe\u2019re glad that we\u2019re able to give all of our workers a raise. It\u2019s going to be, you know, for some of the lower paid people, as much as nine percent, and for some of the higher paid people it could be around five percent,\u201d he said.\r\n\r\nIn other matters, the council:\r\n\r\n*Heard the Eagle Scout project of Jaheim Johnson, of Troop 69. Johnson\u2019s project will be a kiosk and benches installed at the Danville & Western Caboose in the Downtown area. It is expected to be completed by October. The council voted to give Johnson $300 for the project.\r\n\r\n*Formed a Blight Committee, and named members that include Weiland, Terry Dalton, Erica Cipko, and Dean Goad. The committee will meet on Thursday, May 6 at 10:30 a.m. in the town office, as it works to address blighted properties in the town. The committee\r\n\r\n* Scheduled a job search committee meeting for Thursday, May 6 at 11:30 a.m. in the town office.\r\n\r\n*Approved bills.\r\n\r\nJohn \u201cMac\u201d Deekens was not present at the meeting.