ROSEBORO — With no comments made for or against the proposed budget, commissioners have approved the 2018-19 budget that includes an increase in the water and sewer rates.
The Roseboro Town Board held a public hearing Tuesday night and voted to adopt the upcoming year’s budget of more than $1.9 million for all five of the town’s operating funds.
In the past few years, the town has struggled to build the water and sewer fund and an increase in the sewer base rate last year still hasn’t generated enough money to fully sustain the escalating costs of maintenance within the department.
“The water and sewer enterprise fund is supposed to be totally self-sufficient,” Roseboro mayor Alice Butler said about the decision to increase the rates. “It should operate like a business.”
According to Butler, the water and sewer rates, as approved, will increase five percent for in-town customers, 20 percent for out-of-town customers and 30 percent to the county.
Roseboro’s water and sewer customers can expect to see the increase beginning with their August bills. The rate increase, according to Butler, could generate a possible $25,000 in the upcoming year.
In-town customers can expect their basic water and sewer bill to increase to $40.17 per month ($18.64 for water and $21.53 for sewer) for the base 3,000 gallons and an additional 25 cent increase per thousand above the 3,000 gallons to $5.25.
The current rate for in-town customers is $38.25 for up to 3,000 gallons of water and sewer ($17.75 for water and $20.50 for sewer). Anything above the 3,000 gallons is a per thousand rate of $5 for water and $5 for sewer.
The 20 percent increase for out-of-town customers would cost $66.66 per month ($32.58 for water and $34.08 for sewer) for up to 3,000 gallons and an additional $1.40 per thousand for anything above the base amount.
The current rate for out-of-town customers is $55.55 for up to 3,000 gallons of water and sewer ($27.15 for water and $28.40 for sewer). Anything above the 3,000 gallons is a per thousand rate of $7 for water and $7 for sewer.
The town has appropriated a total of $637,900 for the water and sewer fund. Budgeted for the administration portion of the fund is $356,020; for finance is $56,680; for debt service is $99,950; and $120,000 for capital outlay.
The town has been investing in the depot building in downtown. New flooring, roof and windows have been installed at the town’ expense. These items were all necessary for safety and damage prevention. The current yearly rent of $7,800 is expected to cover these and normal operating costs.
According to the approved budget, revenues from previous loan recipients are estimated at $17,930.
The increased water and sewer rates comes on the heels of commissioners approving a 3-cent tax decrease in last year’s budget, dropping the tax rate to 66 cents per $100 assessed valuation.