Canton passes budget, hopes for recovery

·2 min read

Jun. 15—CANTON — The Canton board of aldermen and women met Thursday, June 9 in regular session and passed a proposed budget for the fiscal year 2022-2023.

The new budget, $12,117,064, is an increase over last year's budget of $8,883,481.

The 2022-2023 budget includes a general fund of $7,544,393; a water and sewer fund of $3,008,405; and a recreation fund of $1,564,266.

During the session, Town Manager Nick Scheuer said the board is excited and confident about the budget.

"We are hopeful that the town is on the road to recovery" after major flooding and the pandemic, Scheuer said.

"It is scalable with our situation that we have going on," he said.

He added that the budget focuses on recovery, employee retention and town infrastructure.

The budget continues to provide funds for community improvements and it highlights the board's commitment to providing competiting wages to employees by adding a 3% COLA increase for all full- time positions, with potential merit raises of up to $3 an hour.

It also includes a 3% 401k match for all employees who contribute.

The budget also includes 100% coverage for health, dental, and vision insurance, and a $1,000 Christmas bonus.

Additional employees

The budget includes adding a new town planner, two police officers, a new firefighter, and one additional employee in the street department.

Recreation fund

The Champion Credit Union Aquatic Center is set to open mid June. "There was damage from the flood," Canton Mayor Zeb Smathers said. "But it is truly the intent of the board to get it open as soon as possible."

A budget of $70,000 has been set for the Hubert Thomas Basketball court. "Sen. Kevin Corbin provided the money for that grant," Smathers said.

The budget also included a part-time position for the International Sports Complex and repairs to the batting cage.

Chestnut Mountain Nature Park

"The budget has funding identified for trails and amenities at the park, like a picnic pavilion, kids pump track/bicycle playground, overlooks, and ADA accessibility," Scheuer said.

"We received $600,000 in grant funding so we are not utilizing town funds for those projects," he said.

They are wanting to continue to make the improvements as soon as possible.

The next regular session will be at 6:30 p.m.,June 23, town hall, 85 Summer St., Canton.

The board will continue to discuss the Town of Canton Land Use Plan of 2022.