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The council made the right decision, given the current financial crisis, not to raise our sewer rates at this time. Salary raises are delayed, property taxes are higher, and many empty homes are waiting for better times. Our utilities, however, face a predicament. The White Rock sewage plant needs replacement. The utilities customer base is small and is unlikely to expand soon, and, in addition, we are using less water because of already high prices. Under these circumstances sewer rates must eventually rise.
It was commented at the council meeting on June 9 that the county’s general fund has over $30,000,000.00, more than enough for new sewage treatment plant. The Utilities and the county council are operating within the framework of our existing charter, which appropriately says that our utilities are separate in budget from our county. In other words, money from the county’s general fund cannot be transferred directly to the utilities. We have a dilemma of funds that needs a solution.
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