TURKEY — During a recent meeting for the town’s board of commissioners, it was reported that a free study on water rates is coming later than expected.
In 2017, it was announced that the North Carolina Rural Water Association (NCRWA) will conduct the effort. The process was slated to begin in January, but was pushed back because of scheduling matters. Town Clerk Teresa Frack said the new target month is April.
Town officials discussed the matter after an audit was presented by Bryan Scott. He reported that state officials were concerned about low revenue for the town, which is home to almost 300 people. The issue was based on expenses and revenue from town’s of a similar size. Scott reported that the fund balance ended at $165,000. He said the Local Government Commission may analyze amounts focused on increasing the water for infrastructure needs and repairs.
Commissioner Max Pope believes the study could benefit the town.
“It lets us know what it could us to not raise the rate and allow another planning agency to take over our water system …,” Pope said.
In February, the town raised water rates by 30 percent in the town limits and 20 percent for others living outside of the boundaries. The average bill for a Turkey resident is close to $40. This payment comes includes service for trash collection. Rate for customers very based on usage. Commissioners noted that rate’s are $10 below the county’s level and probably other towns too.
Travis Anderson, a contractor assisting the town with water system and maintenance, talked about important needs such as water pumps and motors in December. At the Tuesday meeting, Anderson reported that a control system effecting a tank and well, is no longer working. The matter involved an electric system and a modem from the early 1980s, which stopped being produced in the early 2000s. An official cost for repairs was not presented.
Along with raising rates, town officials also received advice to monitor water usage and meters to see how much water is being pumped out.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.