RED SPRINGS -- Town Manager Wayne Horne's proposed budget for the next fiscal year does not raise taxes but does include a 50-cent increase in the town's water and sewer base rate and 6.8 percent increase in higher water consumption rates.
No other fees would increase if the town board adopts the budget as it was presented.
The town's tax rate would remain at 63 cents for every $100 valuation of property.
Horne presented the $7.1 million budget to the town's Board of Commissioners at a special meeting Thursday.
The board is scheduled to meet on June 5 for a budget workshop. There will be a public hearing on the budget at the board's next regular meeting on June 9.
If the budget is adopted, the base rate of $12.12 for up to 3,000 gallons of water would go rise to $12.62. The higher water consumption schedule would change as follows: For water consumption between 3,000 and 8,000 gallons, the rate of $2.02 per 1,000 gallons would increase to $2.16 per 1,000 gallons; usage between 8,000 and 20,000 gallons would increase from $1.88 per 1,000 gallons to $2.01 per 1,000 gallons; usage between 20,000 and 40,000 gallons would increase from $1.68 per 1,000 gallons to $1.79 per 1,000 gallons; and usage of more than 40,000 gallons would increase from $1.53 per 1,000 gallons to $1.63 per 1,000 gallons.
Horne suggests that a part-time dispatcher be upgraded to full time, with duties being divided between dispatching and records keeping. He said that the Police Department needs the increase to cover record-keeping duties. The salary would increase from $9,550 to $19,436, but the actual increase would only be about $4,000, according to Horne. He said that the department would be able to reduce overtime if the position is made full time.
The only recreation project in the budget is the restoration of the tennis courts at Red Springs High School. Horne said the courts are more than 25 years in old and that repairs would cost about $40,000.
Water and sewer improvements are the main capital expenses in the budget. The town has secured $1.6 million in grants for improving the town's wastewater system and might get another $1 million grant to relocate the discharge point for the town's treated wastewater.
The town's share of improvements at the wastewater treatment plant includes $6,500 for replacing sand used to dispose of sludge and $5,000 for a digester pump and a grit pump. The digester pumps sludge into drying beds.
The budget also includes $44,544 for the first payment of a five-year financing of the reconstruction of the Third Avenue lift station.