Lillington Town Board members reduced the speed limit on one of the area’s busiest sections of roads Tuesday night and also passed a spending plan for the coming year.
The board of commissioners voted to reduce the speed limit on a section of U.S. 421 from 55 mph to 45 mph.
The change was made at the request of the North Carolina Department of Transportation. Signs will soon go up noting the change east of the intersection of N.C. 210, N.C. 27, U.S. 421 and U.S. 401. It will be in effect approximately 1 mile east beginning near where the Subway restaurant is located. The road is known in that location as Cornelius Harnett Boulevard.
It is not the first time commissioners have attempted to reduce speed limits on the busy road. An investigation was conducted several years ago into reducing the speed limit on the north side of what is known as the big intersection. Mayor Glenn McFadden said Tuesday night, traffic light patterns did not make that change a viable option. The traffic light patterns will not affect the change made Tuesday.
The road is the main artery from Lillington to points east including Campbell University, Erwin and Dunn, with thousands of cars passing each day.
In other action, the board unanimously passed a new spending plan for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. The budget maintains the current tax rate at 52 cents per $100 property valuation but citizens will notice a slight increase in garbage and recycling rates. The fees are going up 1.6 percent, or 24 cents a month for each residence.
Town employees will receive a 2 percent cost-of-living adjustment under the new budget.
The mileage reimbursement rate for employees is also going up to 54.5 cents per mile.
Assistant Town Manager Lisa Young, filling in for vacationing Town Manager Joseph Jeffries, said the budget includes $251,000 in spending on capital projects.
Among the captial projects are new police cars, wayfinding signs throughout the town and lighting systems for the walking trail at the Lillington Recreational Park and at the new River Front Park which is now in the planning stages.
There is also money in the budget to fund two new positions at town hall.
The budget maintains the Flatwoods Fire District tax rate of 12 cents per $100 property valuation. The Town of Lillington maintains fire protection for citizens in the Flatwoods district but the residents do not live within the town limits meaning they don’t pay property taxes.
Commissioner Judy Breeden made the motion to pass the budget.
“I think the board has done a wonderful job with this budget,” Ms. Breeden said.
The budget passed with two commissioners — Marshall Page and Paul Phillips — not present. Mayor McFadden said both the absent commissioners told him verbally they were in favor of the budget.