MOUNT OLIVE -- It took the Mount Olive Town Board less than two minutes Monday night to hold a budget hearing and adopt its budget for fiscal year 2018-19.

No one spoke during the brief budget hearing that was followed by approval of a $4.1 million general fund budget -- a 2.6 percent increase over the current year's $3.95 million budget.

The new budget retains the tax rate of 64 cents per $100 of property value. Trash fees remain the same.

However, water and sewer customers will be paying more for those services.

The water and sewer rate increases are needed to satisfy the Local Government Commission that has questioned the viability of the town's water and sewer fund, unless the rates were adjusted.

Based on the most recent statewide rate study, Mount Olive's water rates are the second lowest in the state for municipalities of comparable size, Town Manager Brown said in a letter on the rates.

The town was notified on March 26 by the State and Local Government Division of the N.C. Department of State Treasurer that the rates currently being charged by the town for water and sewer are not adequate to cover the costs of debt service, operation and maintenance and the depreciation of the water and sewer fund.

The fiscal management section added that the amount charged to customers is not sufficient to cover the costs of providing water and sewer services and that the water and sewer system may not be financially sustainable in the long run unless circumstances change.

The new budget and rate changes are effective as of July 1.

The residential base rate for water will increase from $7.71 to $8, reflecting an increase of 29 cents per month.

The residential rate for 1,000 gallons of water use will increase from nearly $3.18 per 1,000 to about $3.33 per 1,000, an increase of 15.8 cents per 1,000 gallons.

The residential base rate for sewer will increase from $16.16 to $17, an increase of 84 cents per month.

The residential rate for 1,000 gallons of sewer use will increase from almost $7.33 to nearly $7.69. The change increases the rate by 36.6 cents per 1,000 gallons.

The commercial base rate will increase from $14 to $15.

The commercial rate for 1,000 gallons of sewer will increase from nearly $7.33 to $7.69.

The residential base rate for water will increase from $15.42 to $16, an increase of 58 cents per month.

The residential rate for 1,000 gallons of water use will increase from $6.35 to nearly $6.67, an increase of almost 32 cents per 1,000 gallons.