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Columbus approves budget with no tax hike

The Town of Columbus last week approved its fiscal year 2008-2009 budget, which includes no tax increases but a two percent water rate increase and a four percent sewer rate increase.

Next year&squo;s budget includes provisions for a town hall renovation for larger council chambers, a new dump truck and a new police car.

There will also be a $1 per month charge for residential recycling, a $2 charge for commercial recycling and a $3.50 charge for the town&squo;s water project with Saluda and Tryon. The recycling charges will be used to help the city pay for a recycling center.

Columbus Town Council approved the budget last Thursday following a public hearing.

A new public works storage building will be constructed on Locust Street by National Building for $74,920. The metal building will be 30 feet by 30 feet and will be used to house the town&squo;s equipment.

The town is also planning to renovate town hall, utilizing a back storage area to create a new, larger council meeting room. The estimated cost for the renovation is $75,000.

Other new purchases provided in next year&squo;s budget include a new police car and a dump truck estimated at between $32,000 and $38,000.

The town&squo;s total general fund budget for next year is $895,500, with a water and sewer budget at $1,130,480.

The town&squo;s fiscal year begins July 1.