Tax collections up in St. Pauls

By: Jessica Horne - Staff writer
John Gudauskas, Jr. was sworn in Thursday by Town Clerk Debra McNeill during a St. Pauls Board of Commissioners meeting to serve the remaining two years of the District 1 seat left vacant by Mayor Elbert Gibson. His wife, Anna, left, and daughters Olivia, front, and Emily watch the ceremony.

ST. PAULS — The St. Pauls Board of Commissioners was told Thursday that the town’s cash flow has improved.

The town’s cash flow was just over $1.6 million in 2019, John Masters, of S. Preston Douglas & Associates, said during his presentation of a 2018-2019 audit. The audit also contained other good news for the town.

Masters said the town’s property tax revenue was about $1.5 million in 2019, an increase from the previous year of just under $1.2 million.

“Your property tax collection is 92%, which is very comparable to other towns in Robeson County,” Masters said.

The commissioners also discussed adding two members to the three-member Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, but took no action. They did say applications will be available at Town Hall through March 15. The commissioners were asked to submit names and speak to constituents who may be interested. Terms on the ABC board are three years.

Commissioner Evans Jackson said the addition would bring “more cohesiveness” to the board.

“You just make sure that you’re putting a person of good character on there,” Mayor Elbert Gibson said.

The additions would keep two members from making decisions without the third member present, the mayor said.

The commissioners suggested that candidates have experience in business and live in St. Pauls.

In other business, the commissioners took no action on signing a contract to set a $159,915 United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service grant into motion. The grant was approved by the USDA on Feb. 10 and would help improve ditches along South Wilkerson Drive, Town Administrator Rodney Johnson said.

The commissioners also OK’d a resolution that requires local businesses to close the lids on Dumpsters and replace them when necessary to prevent pollution. The resolution excludes businesses in the Central Business District.

Gibson said trash is blowing out of the receptacles and causing pollution in the town.

“They all come with a lid, and they’re not using them,” Commissioner Jerry Quick said.

The board also approved spending $8,381 to replace the drive-up window at Town Hall that is used by residents to pay bills.

Also on Thursday, a ceremonial swearing in was held for St. Pauls Police Chief Steve Dollinger.

Dollinger joined the department Dec. 16 and was formerly sworn-in as its police chief in January, Johnson said.

John Gudauskas Jr. was appointed to serve the remaining two years of the board’s District 1 seat, left vacant when Gibson was elected mayor.

John Gudauskas, Jr. was sworn in Thursday by Town Clerk Debra McNeill during a St. Pauls Board of Commissioners meeting to serve the remaining two years of the District 1 seat left vacant by Mayor Elbert Gibson. His wife, Anna, left, and daughters Olivia, front, and Emily watch the ceremony.
https://www.robesonian.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/web1_StPauls2132-1-1-1.jpgJohn Gudauskas, Jr. was sworn in Thursday by Town Clerk Debra McNeill during a St. Pauls Board of Commissioners meeting to serve the remaining two years of the District 1 seat left vacant by Mayor Elbert Gibson. His wife, Anna, left, and daughters Olivia, front, and Emily watch the ceremony.

Jessica Horne

Staff writer

Reach Jessica Horne at 910-416-5165 or via email at [email protected]

Reach Jessica Horne at 910-416-5165 or via email at [email protected]