MAXTON — The Maxton Board of Commissioners were told Thursday night that the town’s General Fund has grown by about $200,000 during the last year.
Town Manager Kate Bordeaux, who has held that position for just more than a year, credited the commissioners with making strong decisions financially. Bordeaux said she was hired in part to make the government more efficient, and said the commissioners had been careful with spending decisions.
“This is about the commissioners and how they have been prudent and made good, wise decisions,” she said.
John Masters, an auditor with S. Preston and Douglas Associates, presented the audit, saying the General Fund had grown from $1.4 million to $1.6 million for the current fiscal year. Bordeaux said the town’s fiscal health was the “best it’s been in a decade.”
Bordeaux said any potential tax cut would be up to the commissioners, but they have been working to build up reserves.
The town also adopted a “panhandling” ordinance that is designed to keep beggars from bothering people.
Bordeaux said that several months ago Commissioner James McDougald asked her and Police Chief Tammy Deese to see what could be done about beggars.
Deese “worked tirelessly to see what we could do,” looking to see what other municipalities did, Bordeaux said. Deese found such an ordinance and the two worked together to “tweak” it and give police the “tools they need” to deal with beggars.
The ordinance, which passed unanimously, calls for a $100 fine for anyone found in violation.
Among other things, it prevents a person from: “continuing to solicit in close proximity to the individual addressed after the person to whom the solicitation is directed has made a negative response, either verbally, by physical sign, by attempting to leave the presence of the person soliciting or by other negative indication, or by blocking the passage of the individual solicited, or otherwise engaging in conduct that could reasonably be construed as intending to compel or force a person to accede to a solicitation.”
It specifically forbids such conduct within 20 feet of the entrance to any financial institution, any ATM or any commercial establishment, at any outdoor dining or merchandise area, or at any transit stop or taxi stand, or in a public transit vehicle.
It also addresses such issues as a person touching someone without consent, the use of profane language and the person doing the solicitation being under the influence of alcohol.
The commissioners were told that the town’s Christmas tree-lighting ceremony would be held on Dec. 11 at Town Hall.
Donnie Douglas can be reached at 910-416-5649.