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Red Oak Board okays improvements, budget

Several financial decisions were made by the town of Red Oak board members at their regular monthly meeting held Monday.

First, a $1975 bid was accepted from Britt's Yard Works to tear up the grass along the front of the town hall, re-grade the area, and put down sod. This decision comes as a result of the installation of a new electronic marquee sign. The board has contracted with Daniel Britt of Britt's Yard Works to further improve the curb appeal of the town hall.

Next, the board discussed what to do with a fund balance left in its recreation account. Out of a $25,000 total budget for recreation for the year, a $9,000 balance remained. The board acknowledged that several schools have made budget cuts to athletic programs, trying instead to fund these activities through various fundraisers. The board voted to donate $7,000 to Northern Nash to support the school's basketball program, while the remaining $2,000 will be giving to Red Oak Middle, also to support the school's basketball program.

Third, the board briefly discussed an estimate by Musco Lighting to provide lighting to two of soccer fields located at the Red Oak park at a cost of $246,000. Musco Lighting is the same company that provided lighting for 4 baseball fields in Red Oak in 2010. The board agreed that the cost for this project was too high, and tabled the issue.

Also at the meeting, Brian Jones, owner of the Red Oak Hills subdivision, made a request that the set back or right of way requirement be changed from 75 feet to 50 feet. This will allow "more room for the septic field," will require builders to clear less land before construction, and may increase interest in the area Jones said in his presentation. This change would affect the 16 lots left for sale in Red Oak Hills. Tony Bennett put forth a motion to approve the change; contingent on approval from the town's planning board, set to meet in a few weeks. The motion passed unanimously.

In other business, the board voted to accept the proposed 2015-2016 budget for the fiscal year that began on July 1. The budget's total amount comes to $789,000, the bulk of which ($600,000) will be made up of sales taxes. Carolyn Briggs, the town clerk, said there were no significant changes to this year's budget, except that "it is reduced some from last year."

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