The Ellerbe Board of Commissioners is reviewing the tentative Town of Ellerbe budget for Fiscal Year 2012-2013, and a copy is available to the public in the office of the clerk to the Board at Ellerbe Town Hall at 179 W. Page St. in Ellerbe.
The town board will hold a public hearing on the budget at 7 p.m., Monday, June 4, at the Ellerbe Town Hall.
The proposed budget for the coming fiscal year is $761,677, which is $7,866 more than the 2011-2012 general fund budget of $753,811.
The projected fund balance for the coming fiscal year is $202,455, about $30,145 more than the current budget’s fund balance.
“The tax rate has not changed,” said Ellerbe Mayor Olivia Webb. “It is 50 cents per $100 of valuation. No new hires, layoffs or hiring freezes. Town employees got a three percent cost of living raise with bonuses remaining the same. Commissioners and mayor received an extra $500 to each of their salaries.”
“We are ready to break ground on our sewer project this month,” Webb said. “We received significant USDA grant and loan funding for this project. For Ellerbe, raising sewer rates was a prerequisite for receiving a USDA grant/loan package. The loan amount is $1,823,000. The grant amount is $1,348,000. The loan will be paid off with sewer revenues, so USDA requires you to raise your sewer rates so that the revenue will be adequate to pay off the loan. They do this as a fiscal security mechanism for small towns like Ellerbe.
“We raised sewer rates in two steps to try and make it easier: Once in Fiscal Year 2010-2011 and once again for 2012-13. We are going up $10 on our base charge of $21.10 per 2,000 gallons for sewer. We are going up 50 cents on our base charge for water to correspond with the county water rate increase. What does this mean for our citizens? Average household water/sewer use is between 4,000 and 5,000 gallons. We bill for water, sewer and trash collection all as one package. For a household that uses 4,000 gallons, the monthly bill would go from $45.85 to $56.58. For a household that uses 5,000 gallons, the bill would go from $50.61 to $61.44,” she said.