Strasburg Town Council approves budget

STRASBURG — The Strasburg Town Council has approved its budget.

During the Town Council meeting on Tuesday, council members agreed on a budget that will increase water and sewer rates for residents whose usage goes above town minimum levels, and for all commercial users.

Under the approved budget, water rates will be $12.54 per 1,000 gallons of water residents use over the minimum 2,000 gallons, up from $12.17 currently. Sewer rates will increase to $12.29 per 1,000 gallons over the minimum 2,000 gallons, above the current rate of $11.17.

The increased rates are tied to recent upgrades of the town’s water and wastewater plants. Town Manager Wyatt Pearson said before Tuesday’s meeting that the town hopes to eventually see its water rates drop, although the rates depend on water and sewer usage levels.

The Town Council had discussed the budget in-depth previously, but council members did not discuss the budget during Tuesday’s meeting.

Instead, the budget portion of Tuesday’s meeting centered on the town’s outgoing finance director, Dottie Mullins, whose last meeting was Tuesday. Mullins is retiring after working with the town for 30 years.

Mayor Rich Orndorff opened the budget portion of the meeting by praising Mullins and inviting her to introduce the budget.

“There isn’t an employee who has been more dedicated to the community of Strasburg and to her duty and has been more diligent” than Mullins, Orndorff said.

Prior to introducing a final resolution approving the budget and appropriating funds, Councilman Don LeVine thanked Mullins for her service.

“When I came [onto Town Council], the recession hit and revenues took a hit,” LeVine said. “And the town was not in great shape. And we weathered the fiscal problems very well. And a lot of that has to do with Dottie.”

Mullins said during the meeting that Town Council meetings “have at times been challenging, but they have also been rewarding.”

“I will think of you the second Tuesday of each month as I’m sitting on the porch, reading a book or playing with my grandsons,” Mullins said.