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Board Approves Budget for Fiscal Year 2018-19

 
Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The Hillsborough Board of Commissioners approved a budget totaling $22.6 million in operating expenses for Fiscal Year 2018-19 during its regular meeting Monday night.

A public hearing was held May 21. The budget will become effective July 1, when the town’s new fiscal year starts. The budget includes:

  • $10.8 million in expenses in the General Fund.
  • $11.2 million in expenses in the Water/Sewer Fund.
  • About $640,000 in expenses in the Stormwater Management Enterprise Fund.

Rates and fees

The approved budget includes:

  • Making no change in the tax rate. Fiscal Year 2019 will be the sixth consecutive year without a tax rate increase.
  • Making no change in the stormwater fee.
  • Increasing the water rates by 9.25 percent and sewer rates by 7.5 percent for the new fiscal year and projecting the same increases for the following two fiscal years.

The water and sewer rate increases are needed to zero out the deficit, over the next three years, that the Water/Sewer Fund has incurred due to unexpected increases in construction costs, necessary repairs and upgrades, the $16 million reservoir expansion, and the projected loss of $372,000 annually from Efland-Cheeks sewer customers disconnecting from the system in October 2018. The rates for fiscal years 2020 and 2021 will be reevaluated next year as part of the budget approval process.

The approved increases set the water rates for in-town customers at $8.82 per 1,000 gallons of water and $13.04 per 1,000 gallons for sewer services. Out-of-town rates will be $17.20 per 1,000 gallons for water and $25.42 per 1,000 gallons for sewer. Water rates were last raised in July 2012 and sewer rates were last raised in July 2015.

Highlights

The approved budget increases personnel slightly and makes equipment and facility improvements. Highlights include:

  • Constructing a new sewer main at South Churton Street and Orange Grove Road: Estimated cost: $440,000.
  • Expanding the West Fork Eno Reservoir: $16 million with debt service over 24 years. Debt service will increase to $1 million per year over the next three years.
  • Constructing the final portions of Riverwalk in the town’s jurisdiction and making related sidewalk and safety connections to the surrounding neighborhoods. Estimated cost: $221,000.
  • Conducting a wastewater system modeling and evaluation to identify areas that are hydraulically overloaded and to plan for future needs. Estimated cost: $100,000.
  • Replacing about half of the Police Department’s 10-year-old handheld radios: Estimated cost: $70,000.
  • Adding an administrative support specialist (estimated $62,767); information technology manager (estimated $85,105); and planning technician (estimated $58,732).

More information

The budget also includes Hillsborough’s balanced scorecard, a system of measures that the town uses to implement its objectives. The system is used as part of the annual budget process to implement and communicate the Board of Commissioners’ mission, vision, strategic priorities and core values. In addition, the budget includes departmental scorecards and departmental maps of top priorities and step-by-step ways to achieve goals.

A video with highlights of the FY2019 budget as well as videos about the town’s water and sewer rates will be available soon on the town’s YouTube channel.

For more information, see: