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Letters: Oriental's 23/24 Proposed Budget
One Commissioner's View
May 23, 2023

rank Roe is one of five Commissioners for the Town of Oriental. In May, over the course of several public meetings, Roe and the others (Commissioners White, Overcash, Price, and Winfrey) reviewed the town’s budget and needs. Commissioner Roe writes in:

On June 6 at 8am the Oriental Town Board will have a public hearing and vote on the upcoming Town Budget. Information on the draft budget can be found on the Town website, www.townoforiental.com. Under Government/Town Meetings.

Oriental is on the NC Treasurer’s “watch list” for under funding of the water plant. The water plant, by State Regulation, must be funded as a stand alone operation.

The draft budget includes increased rates for water usage. Oriental’s water distribution system is aged and much of it is past its useful life.

The proposed General Fund expenses and revenues are listed in detail on the Town website. Included in the proposal are:

• Salary and benefit increase for Town Employees of 7.46%
• Two additional paid holidays (12 to 14)
• Funds for continued drainage maintenance
• Funds that may be used for road maintenance
• Allocation for the Town’s two EV charging stations
• Monies for a Town/police outreach
• Support for Pamlico County Library
• Funds for the two green waste dumpsters located the water plant
• Continued support of Harbor and Water Front, Parks and Recreation and Tourism boards (all funded by the Town Occupancy Tax)

Approximately, 50% of Oriental’s discretionary General Fund and Water Fund proposed budgets of $1,539,000 is used to pay for Town Employees.

The Town maintains 3 parks, 5 public docks/piers & 1 pump out, Town Beach, Net House visitors center, 2 public restrooms, 2 EV charging stations, the water system & plant and the Town Hall facility.

Oriental has about 13 miles of roads to maintain.

Unfortunately, this proposed budget does not provide sufficient funding for any significant road improvements.

Oriental is faced with either major reduction of services or in the upcoming years raising property taxes. The cost of road repair is so expensive that it is beyond most small North Carolina town’s ability to fund. Oriental has reached out to the State for help in maintaining its infrastructure – no response as yet. The Town Manager is continuing to search for grants to help with infrastructure funding.

Please read the budget and attend the Town Meeting on June 6 at 8am.

Frank Roe
Oriental, NC
May 22, 2023

Editor’s note: The June 6 meeting is also the monthly Town Board meeting. Documents for the budget and that meeting are posted below. Some are draft documents and may undergo changes before the June 6 meeting.

Related Links Updated 6/1:
Consolidated Budget Information – all in one file
Minutes from all 2023 budget meetings
Town Manager’s Budget Message – Draft B
Proposed Fee Increases – Chapter S
General Fund Expenses – Draft C
Proposed Water Budget
2021 – 2022 Water Budget
• Projected Revenues – Draft C
General Fund Revenues – Draft D
Resolution to create Capital Reserve Funds
Budget Ordinance – Draft D
Personnel Policy – Holiday Adjustment
Board of Commissioners’ Meeting Schedule
Town of Oriental Holiday Schedule

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