MAXTON — The town Board of Commissioners on Thursday decided to increase water and sewer rates and begin having town workers collect trash, both moves designed to chop away at budget woes. The town’s property tax rate, the highest in the county, will remain the same.
The board voted to raise the water and sewer rates by 3 percent beginning July 1, the start of the next fiscal year, to generate additional revenue for the town’s water and sewer funds.
According to Myra Tyndall, Maxton’s former finance director and now finance consultant to interim Town Manager Angela Pitchford, the increased rates for the town’s 1,250 water and sewer customers will generate an additional $1,200 a month.
The current monthly water rate for customers using zero to 2,500 gallons will increase by 47 cents, from $15.69 to $16.16; and sewer will jump from 52 cents a month from $17.25 to $$17.77. The town’s current sanitation rate of $23.84 will remain the same.
The commissioners said they hope the increased rates are temporary.
Pitchford said there are no other fee increases in the town’s proposed budget that includes a General Fund of about $1.7 million. The current property tax rate of 80 cents per $100 of property value will remain the same, she said, meaning the owner of a $100,000 home pays $800 a year in property taxes.
In other business, the commissioners voted to start its own trash and garbage pickup program and cease contracting waste removal out to Waste Management. The town’s contract with Waste Management will end June 30, Pitchford said.
According to the manager, the town can save about $80,000 a year by providing its own waste removal. She said the job will be done by four part-time town employees, with garbage being picked up two days a week and leaf and limb removal being one or more days a week.
“This is all about savings and getting the town back on track,” she said.
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