Appomattox Town Council approved a fiscal year 2020 budget of $4.8 million that includes higher water and sewer rates to help pay for repairing and replacing the town’s 80-year-old water and wastewater systems.
Town Manager Gary Shanaberger said the budget is largely static when compared to the fiscal year 2019 budget of $4 million, aside from the water and sewer changes.
“Mostly infrastructure projects, that’s what the community will see,” Shanaberger said after council unanimously approved the budget Monday night.
The base rate for sewer service will increase from $29.60 to $30.60, and the base rate for water service will increase from $10 to $11 — 4.36% and 7.59% increases respectively, according to the water and sewer rate study for the town of Appomattox.
The additional monthly sewer rates for residential users will increase $3 — from $65 to $68 — starting July 1. Water rates are increasing only $1 monthly for residential users — from $23 to $24 — in the coming months.
The water and sewer rates will continue to increase by 3% annually until July 1, 2022.
Town Treasurer Kim Ray said the increases would produce $54,400 of additional revenue in the coming fiscal year — $22,400 and $32,000 from water and sewer, respectively.
Shanaberger added that this revenue would be used to help pay for projects, like those included in the $1.1 million fiscal year 2020 capital improvement plan.
Among the largest of the proposed projects for 2020 is the first phase of the Church Street Waterline Project, which seeks to increase a four-inch waterline to an eight-inch line along Church Street from Patricia Anne Lane to Hunter Street. The first phase of the project will end at Lee Grant Avenue, covering about half a mile.
The total cost in 2020 is $370,700, which includes the engineering and construction costs for the first phase. The project seeks to increase water pressure in that area and also will improve fire hydrant performance, according to Shanaberger.
Other priorities in the 2020 capital improvement plan are simple water and sewer maintenance fixes, like $35,000 to fix aging water meters and $65,000 for manhole and sewer line repair.
Town council also approved $37,500 to be added to the current year’s budget from the reserve in order to fully pay for a snowplow-ready dump truck, which will leave the town with four total dump trucks.’
The total price of the town’s bid is $107,609.
The purchase comes in the wake of one of the current trucks catching on fire, which Shanaberger attributed to an accident that was electrical in nature. Two of the town’s trucks are outdated, one being a 1990 model and out of service, according to Shanaberger.
“The new one is certainly going to be used for many, many important job duties. We need a dump truck, and we need a newer dump truck,” Council Member Mary Lou Spiggle said.
Town council will have its next regular meeting July 8.
Sarah Honosky covers Appomattox and Campbell counties at The News & Advance. Reach her at (434) 385-5556.