Town doesnt raise taxes, looks to finance projects

First Posted: 5/31/2009

PILOT MOUNTAIN Pilot Mountains tax and water and sewer rates will remain the same for the 2009-2010 fiscal year, if the commissioners approve the proposed budget presented this month, but the town will have a major expenditure on its hands for the creation of an ABC store in the fall.
Last week, Mayor Earl Sheppard said there are no proposed hikes for the water and sewer rates for the 2009-10.
The current water rate for the use of 0 to 2,000 gallons is $16.80 in town and $33.60 out of town. The cost of sewer is $13.58 for such usage in or out of town. The water rate for using 2,001 to 7,000 gallons is $33.60 in town and $67.20 out of town. The cost of sewer with those amounts of usage is $27.16 in or out of town.
For the next 3,000 gallons of water used the cost is $3.48 per 1,000 gallons in town and $6.96 per 1,000 gallons out of town. The cost of sewer at that usage is $3.88 per 1,000 gallons in or out of town.
The tax rate will remain at $.56 per $100 of assessed valued.
The Pilot Mountain Board of Commissioners agreed to purchase two tracts of land totaling 1.5 acres for $140,000 in April, which will be the new site of a new ABC liquor store slated to open in the fall.
According to the towns budget documents, it is a new major expenditure for the town, which will require a loan for the building and the construction.
The estimated cost of the project, including purchasing the land at $140,000 and construction of the building at $300,000, is $440,000, Blair Knox, the Pilot Mountain town manager, said in April.
The town has surveyed various banks for loans including BB&T, which offers a 4.190 percent interest rate; First Citizens, which offers a 4.650 percent interest rate; Southern Community, which declined to bid; and Surrey Bank and Trust, which did not have an interest rate available on the budget documents.
The timeline for the projects construction is July 27 through Jan. 1.
The town will also be adding a new department the Pilot Center which is one of a number of projects being funding through a $2 million grant from Golden LEAF Foundation to Surry County. The college will spend about $400,000 to operate the satellite campus in Pilot Mountain, with an additional $500,000 being spent on renovations and Surry County helping to purchase the building.
Employees will be budgeted a 3-percent cost of living increase and health insurance benefits will be decreased due to a 50-percent increase on current policy.
There is also a $36,300 contingency budgeted.
The general fund for this year is $1,547,000, which is $4,410 higher than last year. The water/sewer fund is $605,900, which is $69,200 less than last year.
From its 2007-08 fiscal year, as of June 30, 2008, the town has an uncollected balance of $13,943.
The board will hold a public hearing on the proposed 2009-10 budget at its June 22 meeting. The budget must be approved before July 1.
Contact Erin C. Perkins at [email protected] or 719-1952.

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