06/27/07 — Fremont town board will weigh possible sewer rate changes

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Fremont town board will weigh possible sewer rate changes

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on June 27, 2007 1:45 PM

FREMONT -- Town officials are considering a plan that could increase the bills for out-of-town Fremont sewer customers, while giving in-town residents a break on their costs.

On Tuesday, town Administrator Kerry McDuffie recommended raising the out-of-town rate for each 1,000 gallons from the current rate of $8.54 to $15.50, at the town board's meeting Tuesday. The $17.50 flat rate for each customer would stay the same. The town of Eureka's rate would also remain unchanged under the plan. If approved, the changes would be made beginning with the mid-July to mid-August billing cycle.

Meanwhile, the customers inside the town limits would see a 9 percent reduction in their bills, from the current $8.54 per thousand gallons to $7.75.

But town commissioners indicated they want McDuffie to study the matter further before they make a decision.

McDuffie pointed out that Goldsboro charges double the city rate to out-of-city customers. But Commissioner Leon Mooring suggested he do more research and find out how other towns and cities base their charges to customers living outside municipal limits.

"I want to hold off on all of it," Mooring said.

Commissioner W.T. Smith said he would not want to lose a potential new business because of a higher rate outside town. Fremont is hoping to capitalize on the new four-lane U.S. 117 running just west of town.

"A business looking to move near Fremont that uses a lot of water, it could send somewhere else," Smith said.

McDuffie noted that the ideal situation would be for the new business or industry to move inside town or request annexation.

Smith added that Fremont has 12 miles of sewer line running between the town limit and the Goldsboro city limit.

"Businesses are going to want to build between here and Goldsboro," he said.

An increase in the business tax base could help the town keep property taxes down, Mayor Devone Jones said.

McDuffie said he would look into how more municipalities deal with sewer charges.

Fremont already charges a different rate for water, McDuffie said. Out-of-town water customers pay 1.5 times the rate inside town. He said he would have more information on sewer rates ready for the board's July 17 meeting.