The Troutman Town Council is preparing to present its 2024-2025 budget for public consideration, with the public having a minimum of ten days to examine the budget and comment on it at a public hearing before the council approves a final budget on June 13.

As the council began discussing the proposed spending plan on April 8, Town Manager Ron Wyatt noted that several employees’ salaries were adjusted to compete with nearby municipalities. Some municipalities of Troutman’s size in the area are even offering $15,000 signing bonuses.

By building up the department’s equipment and culture, Wyatt said Chief Josh Watson has been able to retain good people in the demanding law enforcement positions.

Several director level salaries were much lower than those of nearby towns. The consensus of the council was that they need to aim for about 90 percent of the market rate for these positions, excluding Wyatt’s and one other in which the director was not fully experienced. Only three positions, police chief, finance director, and public works director required salary adjustments, with one up to a $10,000 increase.

Wyatt said that the town has been behind in the cost-of-living adjustments in previous years, so this year all employees will get a COLA adjustment of 4 percent, with employees also having the opportunity to earn up to a 3 percent merit increase.

Wyatt said only about 10 percent of employees should get the full 3 percent merit increase, with about 25 percent or so to get 2 percent raise and another 25 percent about a 1 percent merit raise. The remaining employees would likely not get a merit raise because they did not exceed the level of production and performance expected for their position.

In the newer version of the budget, the council and mayor will also receive an increase. Total compensation for the six elected officials would increase from $24,000, where it has remained for a number years, to $43,931.

Councilman Eddie Nau asked Finance Director Justin Mundy if the town had adequate money to fund these raises, to which Mundy replied affirmatively.

Mundy also added another $50,000 to the “Downtown Enhancement” line item, increasing that allocation to $400,000 next fiscal year. He also created a $250,000 “Contingencies” line item in this newer version of the budget, which he did not in the past two years.

The finance director said he continues to look for opportunities to increase interest income on town funds to further stretch tax dollars.

Budget revenues are expected to be $11,433,722, up slightly from last month’s projections, with about $7,620,427 coming from property taxes (up about $1.5 million over last year).

The proposed property tax rate would remain at 50 cents per $100 valuation.

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Garbage collection fees will rise for residents considerably next year, jumping from $220,00 to $711,200 this year to reflect actual costs of the service, which are supposed to be passed on to the consumer.

Wyatt will ask for council permission on Thursday night to sign a new contract with Waste Pro. The company’s last proposal was for a five- to seven-year contract at $18.52 per month per residence, with new Troutman branded rollout containers (one per household) provided that would eventually belong to the town.

The contract includes annual inflation increases.

Several items were still being finalized last month, including a system of notification for disruptions so citizens can be notified of schedule changes, the cost of optional extra cans requested by residents, the length of the term before the containers become town property, and the process and fee schedule for bulk pick up of larger items requested and paid for by individual citizens.

Wyatt said Waste Pro has already ordered the Troutman-branded rollout containers to be ready for a July 1 delivery to customers. Republic is responsible for picking up its containers, which will not be serviced up by Waste Pro.

This company has contracts with nearby towns, and officials gave Troutman staff favorable reports about the company’s service. Wyatt says that Waste Pro will give better service, eventually give the town the containers, and include a Troutman-only company website for better information and communication.


After discussion Monday afternoon, the council decided to file an injunction against the Madd Monkey Garage after its repeated failure to remove an unlawful mural, which was painted without obtaining a town permit and violates town ordinance.

The business owner and the building’’ owners will all be named in the lawsuit after the proprietor failed to meet an April 30 deadline to paint over the mural. The council granted an extension before filing the lawsuit until proper painting temperatures occurred this spring.

Town Attorney Gary Thomas recommended that the lawsuit proceed to recover court costs and demand enforcement of all fines ($100 per day) imposed since the council denied the business owner’s request last September for an exception to keep the mural.

The council also denied the business owner’s request to suspend fines in February, allowing them to accumulate, with a possible consideration of reduction if the owner complied but now is no longer being considered.


Nau asked Wyatt for an update on the fairground renovation and expansion after fielding a variety of questions and rumors from constituents.

Wyatt first covered some background on the process, explaining that several years ago, a committee comprised of state lawmakers, county staff, two county commissioners, and Troutman town officials met a number of times over the years to discuss plans and sketch out possibilities for the fairgrounds.

The group eventually hired a company to design some layouts, but before they made any decisions, they wanted answers to several questions, including the cost of the project, whether it could be divided into phases, and whether it could still continue to operate during construction.

The committee wanted the focus of the facility to remain agricultural but also have new avenues for profitability, including a farmers market, a community kitchen, sports fields as well as facilities to host conventions or a modern event center.

The town also offered 14 acres that have been donated by the Wakefield development group as part of the design discussion process, perhaps even housing an amphitheater.

The group obtained a cost projection that the total initial cost of the draft plan would be $57 million.

When new county commissioners were elected, talks began to stall. Some even pushed for the fairgrounds to be moved to another county property until the costs made it unfeasible.

Recently, the county got some pushback because the state had awarded $10 million toward the fairgrounds project in the past two years and were pushing for the money to be used or be given back, so the county decided in April to spend the $10 million to begin repairs on some facilities and to construct an open air farmers market and additional parking.

Wyatt noted that the town was not involved in any of these discussions or decisions and not given a chance to participate in the process. Mayor Teross Young emphasized that the town very much wants the fairgrounds to remain in Troutman and fully supports its development and modernization.

Wyatt noted that the county has a lot of facilities in need of replacement or repair, including the courthouse, the sheriff’s office, and the Department of Social Services as well as the fairgrounds. The county is also spending $27 million on a Jennings Park refurbishment, according to Wyatt.

Since the county is still waiting for final figures on the new Weathers Creek High School construction, the commissioners have decided to delay decisions on any other projects until those numbers come in.

In regards to rumors about the county building a hotel at the fairgrounds, Wyatt said that was never the case. The committee had discussed the possibility of a long-term lease of a portion of the fairground property to build a hotel/ event center type facility that would actually bring in leasing revenues while being operated by an outside entity.

Nau expressed his desire that the county be more transparent with Troutman officials about plans for the fairgrounds because many people are asking questions, and town officials know little.

Council member Paul Henkel agreed, saying that commissioners were not as willing to share information and put aside any differences that may exist to make this fairgrounds project a reality.


Town Attorney Gary Thomas announced his retirement, preferably by June 30, and said he would assist the town in finding his replacement. He highly recommended finding someone well-versed in municipal law, which he said has become so complex that it is a specialty area.

Mayor Young thanked Thomas for his many years of service to the town.


♦ At Thursday night’s meeting, council members will consider:

♦ A text amendment to the article regulating campaign signs in the Troutman UDO.

♦ A text amendment to the article regulating accessory structures that address fencing aesthetics in the Troutrman UDO.

♦ Approval of audit contract with Thompson, Price, Scott & Adams for fiscal year 2025.

♦ Authorizing the Town Manager to sign a sanitation service contract with Waste Pro.

♦ A request for demolition of an abandoned residential structure located at 135 Ruffin Loop.

♦ Approval of building elevation as recommended by the Design Review Board to include materials and colors for the Doryian Senior Apartments (Corner of Lytton Street and Talley Street).

♦ Setting June 13 date to consider annexation requests for 2.02 acres at 774 South Main Street and 1.227 acres at 466 & 470 E. Monbo Road.

♦ A resolution to award a service firearm to retiring officer Wayne Elmore of the Troutman Police Department.


♦ Presentation of the 2024 Town of Troutman Citizen of the Year to Donna Lambert.

♦ Presentation of the 2024 Organization of the Year to Lowe’s Home Improvement.

♦ Recognition of the South Iredell Marine Corps JROTC In honor of winning 1st Overall in the Daniel Boone Invitational Drill Meet and placing 1st Overall in the Armed Category and 2nd Overall in the Unarmed Category in the regionals.

♦ Recognition of Jonathan Lyons as Town of Troutman Employee of the Month for April.

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