In a meeting Tuesday night at town hall, Ronda commissioners passed a budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year and a resolution supporting a study of the best way forward for the water system.

The water system study will allow Ronda to consider whether it is financially more prudent to consolidate its system with Elkin’s or to drill two new wells and replace or perform needed maintenance on the town’s two water tanks. The resolution on the study was approved unanimously by the Ronda board.

The study on possible consolidation, which will be done by an engineering firm, is being handled by Elkin, Ronda Mayor Victor Varela said.

The costs and benefits of consolidation will be weighed against the drilling of new wells and work on the water tanks. One of the tanks is located on Cemetery Street and the other at East Wilkes Middle School.

The large tank at EWMS provides water for system customers who are outside the town limits. This water is purchased from Elkin.

Ronda’s current well, which feeds the standpipe tank on Cemetery Street, is no longer producing an adequate amount of water, according to Valera and Ron Niland, the town’s consultant. The standpipe tank stores water used by customers within the town limits.

The lack of water being produced by Ronda’s well has been supplemented by water from Elkin, Valera said.

The budget, which also was approved unanimously, is largely the same as the current one, with a property tax rate remaining at 40 cents per-$100 valuation, it was noted. The 2018-2019 budget was $384,040.

The general fund portion of the budget is 1 to 2% higher than last year, reflecting price increases, Niland said. He noted that Ronda remains in good financial shape.

The budget will allow $5,000 for festivals and events and $10,000 for repairing public facilities, such as town hall or Ronda’s municipal park along the Yadkin River next to Clingman Road, he said. An additional $40,000 in state Powell Bill funds will be available to be used on street improvements.

The board has approved paving of a portion of Cemetery Street and curb and gutter work on Summit Street to alleviate drainage problems.

In other business, commissioners voted to retain Lisa M. Valdez of Elkin as town attorney.

As is customary in Ronda, there will be no board meeting in July.

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