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Badin Council looks at pavilion possibilities

The Badin Town Council took another step towards improving its parks after discussing pavilion possibilities on Tuesday evening.

The council heard from Danny Russell, owner of RWS, about a time-saving pavilion bracket kit the town could buy for constructing its pavilions.

Town Manager Jay Almond had received a recommendation to speak with Russell and had met before. Almond told the council about Russell’s kits during the budget retreat and the council requested Russell attend a meeting to tell them more about his product.

The council has not made a decision, but wants to see progress photos from a pavilion Russell is constructing as it considers whether to invest in the bracket sets.

According to Almond, the kits are designed to make pavilion construction more quick and simple.

No one spoke during a budget public hearing conducted before the meeting, giving the public one more chance to give its thoughts before the budget is approved.

The Fiscal Year 2019-20 budget must be approved by the end of June 30.

One person did speak about a storm water management issue related to Falls Road, but the town is already considering solutions, according to Almond.

The council unanimously decided to not support the North Carolina League of Municipalities in opposing an unfunded mandate in Senate Bill 179/House Bill 278, “Parity for First Responders.”

On its website, the League lists the bills as “critical” to track.

“(The bill) creates a new ‘special separation allowance’ retirement benefit for full-time paid firefighters and rescue squad workers employed by local governments and state agencies,” the League’s summary of HB 278 states. “For qualifying employees, the benefit would be paid upon retirement until the employee reached age 62, died, or was re-employed by another local government. The benefit would equal 0.85 percent of the ‘annual equivalent’ in the applicable employer-sponsored retirement plan.”

While the idea of an extra retirement benefit for firefighters and rescue squad workers seems attractive, the concern stems from the fact the funds would come from local governments.

“Additionally, the benefit would be paid by the employer from which the employee retired,” the summary continues. “The filed version of this bill does not include a funding mechanism to assist local government employers in paying for this benefit.”

While the Badin council did not vote to support either bill, and did not vote to pass a resolution backing the League’s opposition to the bills, it unanimously voted to take no action.

A lengthy closed session was held to discuss economic development, but no action was taken upon reopening the meeting.

The council unanimously voted to have a second public hearing for the budget at 6:45 p.m. June 11 at Town Hall. The regular council meeting will follow at 7 p.m.

Imari Scarbrough is a freelance contributor for The Stanly News and Press.