City department heads prepare budget proposals for next fiscal year

Making the city more efficient and user-friendly, freeing up currently frozen positions and resuming street resurfacing were among the goals of Roanoke Rapids department heads as discussions on the next fiscal year’s budget began during a session of work of the city council on Tuesday evening.

“Department heads are working very diligently with the other elements they have to provide this information,” City Manager Kelly Traynham said. “We have found in many ways where costs continue to rise.”

Traynham said the contractual agreement for the recent $3.5 million state stipend grant was signed by Mayor Emery Doughtie.

A portion of these state funds will be used to retire the Roanoke Rapids Theater Deed of Trust. After that, the remaining funds will be used for the Kirkwood Adams Community Center roof, fire alarm system and flooring replacement as well as site work at the Chaloner Recreation Center and the hotel elevator. town. “That’s a lot of big expense that we were going to talk about.”

Human ressources

Director of Human Resources Christina Caudle said her request for a citywide software update project is actually one that will benefit the entire city. “I think it’s a priority level one. It impacts human resources, finance and payroll, but it also affects many other departments that my department touches on a daily basis, but many citizen services may also be bundled with some of these software services.

One of the goals is to modernize to meet the current expectations of the employees and customers the city deals with on a daily basis, she said.

Caudle said there is a citizen service product that would meet permitting needs primarily for the planning department, but could cover everything from renting a park service facility to reporting potholes. . “It’s really global.”

Caudle said there was a three to six month onboarding window for the project. It includes a complete HR and payroll suite. “The most important thing is that it will make our organization more efficient. One of those products that they say is going to be a 68% improvement in workflow efficiency.

Full integration across all departments would cost over $500,000 for the first year with a significant drop in the second year. After that, the cost would be around $160,000, then $193,000 the following year.

Caudle described the software as a public sector tool. Hyde County presents a full range of products. “The cost is high, yes, but it makes us modern, it allows us to move 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, it makes all our employees more efficient and it will also help us in 5 to 10 years to recruit new new employees. As Hyde County makes these decisions now, we will become obsolete if we don’t make the decisions and put these tools in place.

Caudle has also requested a full-time administrative support person. “I find it essential in this position,” she said, adding that the former human resources director had made a similar request in the past.

The cost of this position with salary and benefits can reach $50,000 per year.

Traynham said the typical process in town now is that a developer should download and print an app. Then they should mail it back or bring it back to the town hall. “The time it would save even entrepreneurs, it promotes economic development opportunities.”

Financial department

Acting CFO Tammy Fahey requested two desktop computers, two laser printers, a laptop computer, a check scanner and a lateral filing cabinet.

She said the costs associated with the application are less than $10,000.

Planning Department

Traynham said it had been a few years since the department had upgraded a vehicle. She requested a vehicle to keep the department’s fleet more modern.

She said the department’s training budget must be sufficient for employees to maintain their certifications.

Desktop or laptop computers are also required.

She said the request for the department is around $50,000.

Firefighters

“We need a fire truck,” Chief Jason Patrick said. “We actually need two fire trucks.”

Patrick said the department is out of a fire truck.

The red and white truck used by the department is on its final leg. “The guys are using this truck today because the ladder truck is out of service at the shop. We’re one flat tire away from having to borrow a truck from another department. That’s our first priority.”

The department wants to replace a 1997 Yukon that was donated by Dominion Power. The vehicle has 170,000 miles. “It’s been good for us, but it’s starting to cause us more and more problems.”

Patrick said the department submitted a grant through the county firefighters association for Viper radios. If the association wins the grant, the Roanoke Rapids Fire Department would receive about half of the radios needed by the agency.

The fire chief said the department would need about 15 portable radios and five mobile units.

Patrick said firefighters were still trying to upgrade Station 1’s generator. “The current generator might run your house at home, but it won’t run this entire station.”

Station 1’s AC units also need to be replaced, Patrick said. “We’ve replaced a few a year, but we still have five at Station 1 that need to be replaced.”

The back driveway at Station 1 needs repaving.

Estimates for a fully equipped new fire truck are between $650,000 and $750,000.

The Yukon replacement is estimated to be between $35,000 and $40,000.

The radios are estimated at $79,000 while the generator is estimated at $85,000. Replacing the air conditioning is estimated at $35,000 and resurfacing the driveway is estimated at $20,000.

Parks and recreation

Parks and Recreation Director John Simeon said he would like to have a parks resource officer to help with security at all city facilities. “This is an additional position but when we sit down I will ask Chief (Bobby) Martin to join me as well as it will be Law Enforcement with Parks and Recreation.”

This cost is estimated at $38,000, which corresponds to the starting salary of a police officer.

Simeon said TJ Davis’ AC cooler needed replacing. “Right now the unit is in backup mode. It could go out any day. It could be six months. It could be a year, but when it’s in backup mode, we know that it will definitely fail at some point.

This cost is estimated at $45,000.

The director of parks has requested that TJ Davis’ supervisor position be released. This estimated cost is $42,000 with benefits.

Simeon recommended that four of Emry Park’s six tennis courts be demolished. It is estimated that resurfacing the remaining two courts will cost $79,500.

He recommended resurfacing one of the $38,000 Rochelle Park tennis courts.

Simeon said the department would like to replace a failed 2001 Ford.

A 2000 Chevrolet vehicle also needs to be replaced.

Simeon said the Lloyd Andrews town meeting room needed new Zoom equipment. “We all think Zoom is here to stay and our Zoom equipment is very outdated. We do the best we can. »

The cost of upgrading to better Zoom gear is estimated at $12,000.

He asked to unlock the Library Supervisor position at $39,700 and the Canal Museum Program Supervisor position at $41,600.

Rochelle Park playground equipment is to be replaced at a cost of $75,000 and Long Park playground equipment is to be replaced at a cost of $50,000.

police department

Chief Bobby Martin said one of the biggest needs is a radio system. “As we move forward in the coming years, we envision everything becoming regionalized.”

Viper radios were designed for emergency management, Martin said, and the signal is phenomenal. “We’re starting to have issues where we’re putting officers at risk by not having good communications.”

Martin said the department needed 50 portable radios and 50 mobile radios. The estimated cost is $325,000.

Patrol cars are needed. Martin wants to request eight Dodge Durangos equipped with on-board cameras. The eight Durangos are estimated at $320,000 while the dash cams are estimated at around $55,888.

The chief of police has requested the release of all posts. “Right now we have officers working hard to cover shifts. I think we would be better served to have a full department that opened up all of our positions. »

There are currently two frozen positions within the department. The cost for the patrol boat would be $55,514. A frozen investigator position is estimated to cost between $41,000 and $42,000 depending on experience and, with the added benefits, would bring that salary up to around $60,000. “Our biggest thing is recruitment and retention. We want to recruit quality employees and we want to retain them instead of going elsewhere.

The police department is also considering 12 new laptops at $1,000 each.

Public works

Director Larry Chalker asked the following:

$30,000 for traffic signal upgrades at Seventh Street and Park Avenue. Chalker said the light is currently non-compliant.

$445,000 for a vacuum truck to clean storm drains and sumps.

$240,000 for a garbage truck.

$65,000 for a sheet-fed machine.

$200,000 for a knuckle boom.

$100,000 for three pickup trucks to replace three the city received from the Pennsylvania DOT before Chalker arrived.

$100,000 for a backhoe. “Out of three of them, we currently only have one reliable backhoe in service. We held on. »

In the estimates, Chalker said he would request $500,000 for street resurfacing. “It’s been almost four years since we last surfaced. We’re late.

Chalker also said he was seeking the release of four positions in the street department at a total cost with markups of $170,352.

Chalker’s total proposed capital budget was $1,180,000 and total expense budget was $670,352.