06/21/12 — Fremont budget approved

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Fremont budget approved

By Steve Herring
Published in News on June 21, 2012 1:46 PM

FREMONT -- A budget $92,320 leaner than the previous one and that was drafted by an outgoing town board was unanimously approved Tuesday night by an incoming town board.

The $3,538,877 budget keeps the present tax rate at 65 cents per $100 worth of property, provides a 1 percent salary increase for town employees and passes along a 10-percent increase in the per 1,000 gallon water fee.

Town Administrator Kerry McDuffie said the budget process had been somewhat different because of the delay in the town's municipal election from last November to May because of redistricting.

The new board, including Mayor Darron Flowers, was sworn into office prior to Tuesday night's public hearing on the budget. Harold Cuddington was appointed mayor pro-tem.

McDuffie said he had not been sure what to expect since the budget work had been done by the outgoing board and approval would be by a new board. However, the process went smoothly and the budget was unanimously approved, he said.

"It (budget) is very similar (to last year) and the only rate increase we did was the water rate since Wayne Water District increased its rate to us," McDuffie said.

Fremont owns the water lines and distribution system, but the water is pumped and processed by Wayne Water District.

The base rate of $14.25 will not change. However the cost per 1,000 gallons will increase from 3.41 cents to 3.75 cents.

"That will be in the bill we print on July 25," McDuffie said. "That will be about $1.20 to $1.30 more for the average user. The more water you use, the more it affects them."

Budget totals, with last year's amounts in parentheses:

*General Fund, $790,555 ($839,973.84)

*Fire department, $84,422 ($106,858)

*Water/sewer, $816,700 ($847,364.51)

*Electric, $1,847,200 ($1,837,001).

Expenditures in the budget include:

*$11,000 for new computers for town hall

*$1,000 for the National Night Out on Aug. 7

*$47,000 for two equipped police cars (one new and one used)

*$14,000 for two lawn mowers

*$24,000 for two used vehicles (a truck with utility bed for the sewer department and a four-wheel drive one for the spray field)

*$10,500 for more radio read water meters.