Norwood proposed budget contains increased property tax, utility rates

Published 9:27 am Monday, June 12, 2023

The proposed budget for the town of Norwood for the 2023-24 fiscal year includes an increase in the property tax rate.

A two-cent increase from $0.39 to $0.41 is in the budget presented by interim town administrator Ray Allen to the town’s council. In a letter to council members, Allen credited former town administrator Scott Howard and town staff for presenting a balanced budget.

The town’s water and sewer rates will increase by 11.5% from $25.01 for the first 1,000 gallons to $27.89 for residents inside town limits. Each additional gallon goes from $0.006 to $0.007.

For customers outside the town limits, the rates goes up from $50.01 to $55.76 for the first 1,000 gallons, and $0.01 to $0.0143 for each additional gallon.

Minimum sewer rates for first 1,000 gallons will increase to $41.70 for the first 1,000 gallons and $.01074 for residents inside the town limits. Residents outside town limits will now pay $83.40 for the first 1,000 gallons and $.021 for each additional gallon.

The rates are “for residential, commercial and institutional users averaging less than 500,000 gallons per month,” according to information obtained by The Stanly News & Press.

Solid waste collection will go up $1 per month. Water and sewer tap fees will also increase.

According to the letter, the “significant drivers of increased costs and/or decreased revenues” includes the increase of the fire protection costs by Center Rural VFD. Next year’s cost will be $189,625, including a one-time cost of $53,125 for capital improvements.

The Edgewater/Eagle Pointe service district’s elimination means a loss of $55,000 in revenue for the town. Norwood also will have to pay a fee increase of 5.2% with Waste Management of the Carolinas.

Increasing water and sewer costs are also named as “significant drivers” for the rate increases. Reasons for the increases stated in the letter include increasing construction and supply costs and a 6.5% increase in the contract with Envirolink to operate the town’s water and wastewater plants. Annual debt payments of $230,000 to update the town’s water treatment plant were also listed as a reason for the rate increases.

Along with increased costs, Norwood’s general fund is estimated to be down 3.2% in revenue because of a smaller Powell Bill Street System fund balance.

The town’s police department budget proposal of $1,216,050 reflects a 4.3% overall increase because of a cost-of-living increase of 5% along with incentive pay for certifications and further education.

Norwood’s administrative budget is down 11.5% from the previous year because the town will not be funding a part-time administrative position.

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio has served as the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press for more than 16 years and has written numerous news and feature storeis as well. 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 won an award from Boone Newspapers, and has won four North Carolina Press Association awards.

email author More by Charles