Rowland Commissioners OK funds that retains property tax price unchanged however will increase water and sewer charges

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Rowland commissioners OK budget that keeps property tax rate unchanged but raises water and sewer fees


			
				                                
			
				                                
			
				                                
			
				                                The Rowland Board of Commissioners approved a $ 1.7 million spending plan presented by Town Clerk David Townsend during the workshop session on Wednesday.  Tomeka Sinclair |  The Robesonian

The Rowland Board of Commissioners approved a $ 1.7 million spending plan presented by Town Clerk David Townsend during the workshop session on Wednesday.

Tomeka Sinclair | The Robesonian

ROWLAND – A $ 1.7 million budget for fiscal 2021-22 that keeps property taxes unchanged but increases water and sewer fees was approved by the city council on Wednesday.

The budget approved in a special workshop meeting was the fourth draft and was not covered by objections from local residents at the meeting.

Commissioner Paul Hunt has requested that concerns about budget salaries be raised during a closed session. However, no changes were made to the proposed budget after the Commissioners returned to the open meeting.

The total spending plan of $ 1,773,700 is an increase of $ 300,000 from last year’s budget, which was frugal due to the possibility of a drop in sales due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funds expected from the American rescue plan also contributed to the increased budget, said Town Clerk David Townsend. The city expects $ 120,000 from the federal stimulus package.

The budget includes a general fund of $ 1,141,050, of which more than half – $ 592,800 – goes to the city police. The fund also includes $ 140,024 in administrative expenses, $ 123,000 in sanitation and a Powell Bill fund of $ 100,300.

The total water / wastewater fund is $ 632,650.

As in the past two years, the city will increase water and sanitation fees for residents by $ 1. This means that a resident who receives water, sewer, or solid waste services will receive a $ 2 increase in fees per month.

“We’re increasing our water prices from $ 21 a month to $ 22 a month,” said Townsend. “Sewage charges will go from $ 24 to $ 25.”

“This does not include the waste sold,” he added

The city is also increasing the water excess rate from 0.231 cents to 0.365 cents for residents who exceed 2,000 gallons.

“That rate has been the same for over 10 years,” Townsend said.

The fee increases and tariff changes are part of the city’s five-year plan to slowly raise fees to the national average. Raising the rates to the national average will enable Rowland to receive grants to fund repairs or replace aging urban facilities.

The approved budget does not include an increase in property tax and leaves the tax rate at 79 cents per $ 100 property value.

“This year’s budget is going to be a lot smoother and cleaner, in my opinion,” Townsend said.

On Wednesday, Police Chief Charles Graham told commissioners he had sent letters to law enforcement agencies across the state asking if they had vehicles they wanted to donate or sell to the department at discounted prices.

“We have a few answers and we’ll see what that does,” he said.

Tomeka Sinclair can be reached at [email protected] or 910-416-5865.