Strasburg to vote on budget during today’s meeting

The Strasburg Town Council is set to vote on the town’s 2018-2019 budget during its meeting today.

Under the budget proposed by town staff, the town would increase water and sewer rates for commercial users and for residents whose water and sewer usage goes above the town’s minimum levels.

Town Manager Wyatt Pearson said that the increased water and sewer rates come as the result of the town’s new water treatment plant. Town Council members, he said, have decided to gradually increase the rates over a number of years rather than place a single rate increase on residents.

“There was a conscious decision made by council in the past (that) when the water and sewer plant upgrades were considered, they would stage the rate changes over the years in increments in order to reduce the burden and the immediate shock on residents,” Pearson said.

Eventually, Pearson said, they hope that water and sewer rates will go down as the town pays off its loans for the plant and as the town’s water and sewer usage increases.

Under the town’s proposed budget, water and sewer rates would not increase for people whose usage lies at or below town minimum levels.

Several Town Council members had expressed a desire to see minimum water and sewer rates stay constant, concerned with what rate increases might mean for families and individuals on fixed incomes.

As a whole, the proposed budget projects an increase in the town’s revenues and expenditures over last year’s budget projections.

The proposed budget projects that the town will spend and receive $14.8 million, compared with $13.8 million last year.

Pearson said that these expenditure increases are largely a result of inflation.