Input sought on spending plan

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    The Town of Stuart’s $1.7 million budget is headed for a public hearing, following a unanimous vote Wednesday.

    Stuart Town Council members unanimously approved holding the hearing on Fiscal Year 2017-18 budget proposal during the May 17 meeting. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the Stuart Town Offices.

    The proposal represents an overall estimated $20,500 revenue increase, includes a 3 percent pay increase for employees, and was crafted with an anticipated 15 percent jump in insurance costs, according to Town Manager, Terry Tilley, and discussion during the meeting.

    Additionally, a $50,000 surplus was earmarked for towards sewer upgrades, but $10,000 of the surplus was diverted to use for abatement work, Tilley said.

    In other reports, council members learned:

    The Stuart Volunteer Fire Department “is working on getting their floor plan squared away,” Tilley said of the squad’s plans to relocate from its current quarters beneath the Town offices, into the former Food Lion building, on Wood Brothers Drive.

    There still may be a few minor changes in the renovations plan, Tilley said.

    However, Chris Corbett, Town Attorney, said he is hopeful the plan will be firmed and ready to share with council members during the May meeting.

    “We hope within the next couple months, it will be ready to put out to bid,” Terry said of the renovation plan.

    Engineering plans for upgrades at the waste water treatment plant also are still in the works, Tilley said, and estimated it will be the middle of summer before that project is put out for bid.

    Town Treasurer Susan Slate asked for council’s input on reordering a marketing brochure that includes information about many local events. The visitor’s guide brochure is available at kiosks, Visitor Centers, the Chamber of Commerce and other locations, she said.

    Slate said the brochure was ordered a few years ago, and only a few now remain. She obtained estimated quotes for printing costs that ranged from more than $250 for 500 to more than $350 for 1,000 brochures.

    Council members suggested updating the brochures to include new events, and council members preferred ordering the lower amount of brochures so that new events can be added and included in future printings.