Ad Spot

April 21, 2021

East Spencer board will leave charges same — for now

EAST SPENCER — After much discussion and debate, the East Spencer Board of Aldermen decided to wait before agreeing to increase the rate for water and sewer and landfill charges.
The board held a public hearing Monday to discuss the proposed changes, which would see an 8 percent increase. Only one resident, Ethel Evans, spoke about the potential changes.
Evans was opposed to an 8 percent increase, but said if there had to be an increase then she’d rather it be somewhere around 4 percent.
The increase would see the water rates go up to $7.29 from $6.75. The sewer rate would increase from $6.75 to $7.29 and the solid waste collection fee would increase from $16.33 to $17.50.
The board made no final decisions but decided to have a special meeting Aug. 19 at 6:30 p.m. at town hall to further discuss the matter. The board would then take a vote at its September meeting.
Town Administrator Macon Sammons said there has not been a change in the billing cost since 2009. In previous years the town absorbed the cost of some rate increases from Salisbury for water and wastewater treatment. The town used money from the general fund to offset the insufficient funds from water and sewer.
Alderwoman Tammy Corpening emphatically made it known she could not vote in support of a rate increase. Alderman John Noble also said he could not in good conscience vote for an increase.
Sammons said if there were money available somewhere in the budget then he would not have recommended a rate increase.
Alderwoman Phronice Johnson was opposed to delaying the decision. She was in favor of the increase.
Johnson asked what other solution the board had.
“Y’all know we don’t have any other finances coming in,” Johnson said. She said there was no other choice.
“As of now, until we can think of a solution, we’ll have to go into the general fund. We don’t want to get into the red again,” Johnson said.
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.
Town Attorney Jeff Morris said legally there’s a requirement for the water system to be self-sustaining. He said at the current rate, the water system is not projected to be self-sustaining.
Morris said a vote against a rate increase means 2015 would be the third year the town would have to use the general fund to pay for water.
“You can’t keep borrowing from one fund to satisfy another,” Mayor Barbara Mallet said.
Mallet said some money should be coming in once the public works and representatives from North Carolina Rural Water Association continue to work with the town to determine its losses from leaks in the water system.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.

Comments

Comments closed.

BREAKING NEWS

District attorney won’t bring charges against former Salisbury officer depicted in K-9 video

Coronavirus

Cooper plans to lift gathering, distancing limits by June 1

Crime

Convicted sex offender charged with having child pornography

Crime

Rowan County woman faces drug crimes for gas station incident

Crime

Blotter: Thousands of dollars in lumber taken from Newsome Road house

Local

Locals react to Chauvin verdict, reflect on work still to do

Business

‘Believe me, they’ll be fresh’: Patterson Farm welcomes strawberry crop

Business

With remote expansion, outsource provider FCR looks to become an ‘exceptional part’ of Rowan community

Local

City expects $1.5 million surplus in current budget, ability to raise some wages for police, public works

Education

Enochville Elementary to host farewell event May 1

High School

High school softball: Carson beats West in a wild one

College

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson will speak at NC State graduation

High School

Wonders, Trojans facing off Monday on Cannon Ballers’ field

Local

City approves two apartment developments, more than 160 new units

Nation/World

Crowds react with joy, wariness to verdict in Floyd’s death

News

Bill seeks to end pistol purchase permits from NC sheriffs

Coronavirus

Rowan County sees 300th death attributed to COVID-19

News

Chauvin convicted on all counts in George Floyd’s death

Local

Top North Carolina House finance chair, Rowan representative stripped of position

Crime

One charged, another hospitalized in fight between cousins

Local

Bell Tower Green renamed to honor Stanbacks; Nancy Stanback receives key to city

Business

Commissioners green light additional houses at Cherry Treesort in China Grove

Education

A.L. Brown will hold in-person, outdoor graduation

Local

Granite Quarry awards FEMA contract for Granite Lake Park