Water rates going up for Mount Olive customers

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The new fiscal year budget for the town of Mount Olive is now in place and water customers will see an increase in monthly bills after July 1.

The $7.2 million document was unanimously approved by the town board in session June 3. No comments were offered during the board’s public hearing.

The new budget goes into effect on July 1, and in a message to the mayor and board of commissioners, Town Manager Charles Brown called it a “no frills” spending plan.

It does include a 2.5 percent across-the-board pay raise for town employees, maintains Mount Olive’s current 64 cents for every $100 of property tax rate, and includes a water rate increase of about 3.5 percent, which adds up to about $2.80 extra a month for the average household.

It is the first water rate hike in 14 years, officials said.

Budget breakdown

  • General funds: $4,092,569
  • Governing board: $169,343
  • Town manager: $202,965
  • Administration: $335,740
  • Public works: $318,941
  • Trash department: $449,990
  • Planning/inspections department: $124,901
  • Municipal buildings: $222,347
  • Police department: $1,572,878
  • Fire department: $352,084
  • Parks and recreation: $218,680
  • Cemetery: $61,700
  • Reserve fund: $63,000
  • The water and sewer budget totals $3,176,375 and includes $2,494,785 for operation and maintenance, $677,770 for debt service and insurance, and keeps $3,820 in reserve.
  • The Powell Bill fund for operation and maintenance is $354,765.
  • The Municipal Airport Fund for operation and maintenance is $266,073.

    And, the Waylin Fire Fund for operation and maintenance totals $155,306.

    Approval of the budget comes after months of preparation and several town board workshops.

    In other business, the board:

  • Authorized the request of Fire Chief Greg Wiggins to use $550,000 in department reserve funds to pay off three USDA fire truck loans in the amount of $570,656.06. Officials said the loan payoff will result in an annual savings of $84,290.12 and that amount will go back into the department’s reserve.
  • Authorized a 30-day period before considering initiating condemnation proceedings for properties located at 318 E. Pollock St. and 313 Oliver St.
  • Named current town clerk Kay Anderson as the town’s finance officer and Cathy Nichols as its new deputy finance officer. Both completed a 13-weeks training course in administrative finance sponsored by the North Carolina Institute of Government.
  • Moved the board’s meeting in September to Sept. 9 due to the Labor Day holiday.
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