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East Spencer board proposes water, sewer rate increases

EAST SPENCER — There has not been a rate increase in the town since 2010, but the board is proposing an 8 percent increase that if passed would help avoid depleting the general fund.
There will be a public hearing Monday so that residents can address the board with any concerns about the potential increase.
The increase would see the water rates go up to $7.29 from $6.75, where it has been since 2010. The sewer rate would also increase from $6.75 to $7.29 while the solid waste collection fee would move from $16.33 to $17.50. The deposit amount has not increased in the past 10 years.
A number of factors are pushing costs higher, town officials said. Those factors include rate increases imposed by the city of Salisbury for water and wastewater treatment, loss in volume of water sold, increases in lost water due to leaks and continuing issues with collection on active water and sewer accounts.
The water and sewer fund was supposed to repay the general fund $64,400 in fiscal year 2014 but was unable to do so because of insufficient revenue. The general fund had to loan water and sewer another $50,000 in order to make the June 2014 debt payment.
This means the general fund is out $114,400 that had been anticipated from water and sewer, had the funds been available.
The rate increase is needed to sustain the general fund and the water and sewer fund. It is expected to produce $61,700. However, the recommended increase would still only recoup about half the water and sewer fund shortfall to the general fund.
The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at town hall.
The board will also discuss:
• A new schedule for business privilege license tax.
• A new zoning fee schedule.
•Updates on the Carolina Thread Trail.
• Rezoning request from the planning board for Holmes Iron & Metal and Quentin Holmes.
• Adoption of a resolution to negotiate a water development extension agreement with Duke Energy to serve customers in the vicinity of the Buck Steam Plant site.
• Pedestrian and bicycling planning grant and appoint board members to serve on the steering committee.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.

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