In a meeting Tuesday night at town hall, Ronda commissioners adopted a 2018-2019 budget that keeps its property tax rate at 40 cents per $100 valuation.
No questions were posed to the board during the public hearing which opened the meeting and commissioners had no comments prior to a unanimous vote approving the budget. The motion to adopt the budget was made by Commissioner Sandra Simmons.
The budget, at $384,040, is roughly the same as last year’s budget, Mayor Victor Varela noted in an interview this week.
It does include a three percent raise for all town employees, he noted. Darrell Combs, who does maintenance on town property, also received a merit raise.
Creating the budge was a smooth process this year, the mayor said. “I’m pretty happy with it,” he commented. “We’ve got a good staff” putting the budget together.
Some $10,000 to $15,000 in revenue is expected to be gained by Ronda in the coming year because of an adjustment to the volumetric water rate, Varela said. Instead of a $20-per-month flat rate paid by those on the Ronda system for the first 3,500 gallons use, the flat rate applies now to the first 2,000 used. A higher rate will be charged for water used above the 2,000-gallon threshold.
Water revenue again accounts for the biggest part of Ronda’s budget at $137,500 or 35.8 percent. Payment of sales taxes brings in another $122,640 or 31.9 percent, while property taxes only account for $71,800 or 18.7 percent.
Another $27,500 is projected to be brought in through utility and cable franchise receipts, with another $17,250 from Powell Bill money. The Powell Bill funds are used to maintain and improve the town’s streets and buildings.
In other business, commissioners voted unanimously to appoint Varela as Ronda’s representative to the Yadkin Valley Sewer Authority board. He is replacing former Ronda commissioner Rheajean Benge, whose YVSA term has expired.
Commissioners also agreed to send a letter, signed by Varela and the entire board, thanking Benge for her service.
Valera noted that sewer rates charged by the YVSA are rising from $2 to $22.50 per-thousand gallons.
Commissioner Manuel Wood and Ron Niland, Ronda’s consultant, both pointed out that erosion on an embankment along Summit Street has to be addressed right away. “We’re going to lose that road” if something isn’t done, Niland said.
Wood said the embankment needs to be stabilized with dirt and seeded with grass. Commissioners agreed to have a contractor come in to deal with the situation.
A special meeting on June 28 at 3 p.m. was set by the board to make amendments to the current budget. This is a routine matter, it was noted.
Commissioners, as is customary, will not meet in July. The next meeting is Aug. 14 at 6 p.m., preceded by a work session on Aug. 9 at 5 p.m.