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East Spencer’s $2.6M budget for 2009-2010 maintains current tax rate, hikes water bills

By Steve Huffman
shuffman@salisburypost.com
EAST SPENCER ó The East Spencer Board of Alderpersons last week approved the town’s budget for the 2009-2010 fiscal year.
The vote was unanimous.
The budget totals $2.6 million, an increase of 8.3 percent ($202,026) from this year’s and maintains the town’s tax rate of 63 cents per $100 valuation. Town residents will, however, see a 10 percent hike in their water bills.
Town Administrator Donnie Jones referred to the budget as a “hold-the-line” one, noting the current tough economic times.
Mayor Erma Jefferies agreed, though she said she was proud of the budget that was approved.
“In the recession we’re in, to approve the budget and keep the business ó and the town is a business ó running, we’ve done well,” she said.
Jefferies noted the city of Salisbury is implementing a 4.5 percent hike in water rates. She said that while work to replace East Spencer’s waterlines is almost complete, fine-tuning of the project remains. Jefferies said that because of improvements in waterlines and meters, some residents will see decreases in their bills despite the hike in water rates.
Jefferies also promised that the situation with the town’s water rates will be revisited within six months to make sure that charges being levied are fair.
“As soon as we can reduce this, we’ll be glad to,” she said of the hike in water rates.
The budget includes a handful of slight salary increases for town employees, though the salaries for the mayor and members of the town board will hold steady. The mayor makes $3,690 annually while board members make $2,460.

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