Norwood Town Council approves 2022-23 budget, includes sewer rate increase

Published 9:26 am Wednesday, June 15, 2022

The Norwood Town Council approved the budget for the upcoming 2022-2023 fiscal year, which will include an increase in the town’s sewer rate, at a special meeting Monday night.

Councilman Robbie Cohen moved to approve the new budget, seconded by Wes Hartsell, which passed unanimously, 5-0.

Having received a new water and sewer rate study at the recent regular meeting, the town’s budget will not have a water increase, as long as the town “has no capital projects or other monumental investments in that department,” according to a letter to residents from Town Administrator Scott Howard.

The tax rate will remain at 39 cents per $100 valuation, as the town’s expected revenues in the general fund are estimated at $3,466,750. Powell Bill revenue will triple to $301,710 for “large-scale repairs” of the town’s streets, sidewalks, curbs and gutters.

Norwood’s new sewer charge will be $37.40 for the first 1,000 gallons treated for residents inside the town limits and $74.80 for those outside the limits. The budget has slight increases in the price of each additional gallon.

“Requirements dictate that the individual enterprise fund be self-sustaining. That is imperative to keeping operation and control of our enterprise fund,” the letter read.

Certain fees in Norwood have also increased. Contracted waste disposal is up 4.2 percent to $14 for commercial service and $12 for residential. The annex application fee is now $400, and water tap fees also increased with outside town limit tap fees. Sewer tap fees increased to $1,400 in town limits and for Edgewater and Eagle Point, along with $2,700 for sewer tap fees outside the town limits.

Expenditures are expected to be up 12 percent, including 33.51 percent more for the administrative department. The increases are for a part-time, temporary finance officer until the town can “hire and train a new finance officer.” The increases also include inflation and cost-of-living adjustments (COLA).

The police department’s budget is up six percent for land “to construct a needed police department building, COLAs and inflation.”

Norwood received a $2.1 million grant which helped the town pay off a 30-year loan. The town still has $6.2 million in enterprise loans.

The letter also stated that some of the increased ad valorem tax revenue for Norwood will be used to convert the one-story building at Campbell Street, formerly used for storage, into a state-certified kitchen. The kitchen would allow food trucks and other entrepreneurs to rent the space to prepare food, as well as host cooking classes.

Councilman Scott Morgan at Monday’s meeting said the rate increase is not a “favorable situation” but added the sewer system has to “get to where it is self sustaining … we are making an attempt to do the right thing, I think, as far as budget and operations of the town’s infrastructure.”

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio was the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press from 1999-2001 and has currently served in the same capacity since 2008. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also been honored four times by the North Carolina Press Association.

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