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Columbus approves budget 

No property tax or water/sewer rate increases 

 

COLUMBUS—Monday, July 1 was the first day of the new fiscal year for North Carolina governments and Columbus approved its new budget during its June meeting.  

The town approved the new budget, which includes no property tax increases or water and sewer rate increases, but does include a three-cent increase in the fire tax rate.  

The town’s new budget for fiscal year 2019-2020 includes a 2 percent cost of living salary increase for employees and a 1.2 percent increase in the employer’s required contribution rate for the North Carolina Local Government Employees Retirement System.  

Goals for the year rated during council’s budget retreat earlier this year include dredging the wastewater treatment plant aeration basin and removing the internal wall; purchasing new police vehicles, including a Ford Explorer and a Ford F-150 truck; comprehensive plan development; adding one public works employee; determining wastewater treatment plant sludge disposal method; stormwater improvements in the Wall and Mill Street area; improvement to the police department career development program; water meter replacements; installing new meters to enable emergency water purchase through the county interconnection; improving sewer right of way maintenance; side arm mower for the public works department; finance/billing software upgrades; town hall front door replacement and cleaning/painting as needed; public works truck replacement of a Ford F-250 four wheel drive diesel; Highwood Apartments water line replacement; Mallard Drive water line replacement; Tryon Estates pump station; Peniel Road sewer service; Fox Mountain Road water line loop to improve flow; improving the manhole access near the BP pump station and zoning ordinance review and revisions.  

General Fund revenues are expected to be $1,321,655 with Enterprise Fund revenues expected at 1,370,573 this fiscal year.  

The new tax rate is 47.46 cents per $100 of property valuation, including for the town and the fire tax.  

Sales tax revenues are projected to be less this year because of the 2018 World Equestrian Games held in 2018 

Occupancy tax is expected to be the same next year, at $28,000 for Columbus.  

The town held a public hearing during its June meeting prior to unanimously approving the new budget, with no residents speaking.