TIMBERVILLE — Even with the standard water-and-sewer-rate increases and across-the-board raises, Timberville’s budget for the fiscal 2014 will be half of the current year’s total.
The budget, to be discussed at a public hearing Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in council chambers, 392 S. Main St., comes in at $1,534,907, compared to $3,189,426 from this year.
The dramatic drop is due to a $1.5 million loan for water and sewer projects the town took out in January. Those funds are represented in the current year’s budget total, Town Manager Austin Garber said. Not counting that expenditure, the operating budgets for the two years are actually about the same.
Water and sewer rates and raises are rising with the tide.
Water and sewer rates will increase 3 percent for each of six usage levels, Garber said, due to regularly rising costs.
Those using up to 5,000 gallons of water every two months — which includes most homeowners — will pay $22.94 six times per year. The minimum for sewer will be $30.87 every two months. Those using 5,001 to 15,000 gallons will be charged $2.89 per every 1,000 gallons over 5,000 gallons for water, and $3.22 for the same amount of sewer use, with the other brackets increasing steadily.
Garber explained that when rates were left stagnant in the past, the cost of water increased, forcing the town to implement substantial rate increases less often, as opposed to smaller annual increases.
“It should be easier for people to budget the smaller increases,” Garber said.
The 2014 budget, which goes into effect July 1, also includes a roughly 4 percent increase in salaries for all town employees. Part of that raise is mandated by the state due to changes to the Virginia Retirement System that require government employees to pay more into their retirement account.
The full proposed budget is available on the town’s website www.town.timberville.va.us .
Contact Alex Rohr at 574-6293 or email@example.com