06/22/04 — Princeton town board keeps tax rate but raises sewer, water rates

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Princeton town board keeps tax rate but raises sewer, water rates

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on June 22, 2004 1:58 PM

PRINCETON -- Princeton residents will have the same 52-cent tax rate but will pay about 10 percent more for water and sewer during the new fiscal year.

The Princeton town board approved the figures for the next budget on Monday. At the same time, the town commissioners declined a $517,500 offer from the N.C. Construction Grants and Loan office for sewer repairs and returned the unspent money.

When someone asked Mayor Don Rains if Princeton were awash in money, he replied with a quick no. But the mayor explained that the town was getting money from other sources for sewer repairs.

"We got a better deal than borrowing money," Rains said.

Princeton has received a $400,000 grant from the N.C. Rural Center, a $1,197,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and a $392,000 loan from the USDA.

The town board also approved a $15,919 monthly plan from EnviroLink, the town's contracted sewer plant operator. The Bailey-based company will provide the chemical and testing. The annual cost would be $191,033.

Town Clerk Marla Ashworth presented a balanced budget that calls for estimated general fund revenues of $613,000, about $41,000 less than last year.

Water and sewer fees were predicted to go up by $112,000 because of new homes and new businesses.

The town board accepted a proposal for the 460 in-town residential customers to pay a minimum $19.25 for 2,000 gallons of water, $16.40 for sewer and a flat $13.75 for trash pickup.

The 30 out-of-town customers would pay 50 percent more for water, $30.38 for 2,000 gallons.

The 70 in-town commercial customers would play 25 percent more for 2,000 gallons, or $25.32 for water and $20.50 for sewer.

Town employees would also receive a 2 percent cost-of-living raise, and some got additional merit increases.

Residents may comment on the budget during the required public hearing at 7 p.m. next Monday at Town Hall.