Still no new Brundidge budget

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The city of Brundidge’s budget will have to wait a little bit longer, as the council still didn’t pass a budget for the new fiscal year.

Budget approval rests in the hands of the council members, as they must decide how to implement the proposed rate changes for water, sewer and electricity.

At the previous meeting, the council asked City Manager Brit Thomas to request the City Engineer Max Mobley submit a proposal that would let the council space out the increases in water and sewer rates over a three-year span.

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“With the phased in rates, you don’t see as much of a sewer increase until the third year,” Thomas said.

According to Thomas, if the council chooses to phase in the sewer and water rates over a three-year timeframe, the average Brundidge customer would come out even.

On average, Brundidge customers use 977-kilowatt hours of electricity and 5,300 gallons of water and sewer.

The three year phase in will only be for sewer and water rates, if the council votes to implement the electric rate change it will be effective when the council passes it.

“The break starts on electricity around 659 kilowatt hours,” Thomas said.

For example, a customer who uses 1,660 kilowatt hours and 4,000 gallons of water and sewer, currently pays $265.26, but would only pay $245.34 for the first year. By comparison if the council was to vote to implement the entire rate structure as the engineers suggested originally, the same customer would pay $263.18.

“The fixed-based rates grab costs from everyone,” Thomas said.

The average sewer and water customer in Brundidge uses 5,300 gallons of water and 5,300 gallons of sewer.

Currently it costs $8.65 for a standard meter, $8.27 for water and $21.32 for sewer, per 5,300 gallons, for a total of $38.24.

With the proposed increase it would cost Brundidge residents $13.41 for a standard meter, $12.77 for water and $26.73 for sewer, for a total of $52.72. This total reflects 5,300 gallons of water and sewer, but if the council chooses to go the route of spreading the increases out over a two to three year period residents won’t feel the burden so much right now.

In other business, Thomas said the library addition is coming along.

“We spend $80,000 by the end of September without invoices coming in,” Thomas said. “We are in the process of ordering shingles, and the goal is to put in windows and doors so we can release the Mobile Attic and store items inside.”

Thomas said they are trying to match the shingles to the original ones.

“We have shingles left over from the original building and we are giving them to the architect,” Thomas said.

The city purchased a new backhoe for $56,000 from a tractor supply company in Montgomery.

The council also voted to declare to old backhoe surplus

“Everyone tells me you can’t get your money back if you put money in,” Thomas said. “But I don’t know anything about it.”

The council also set a minimum bid of $12,000, which was recommended by Thomas.