While approving their $5 million municipal budget for 2019-2020, the Selbyville Town Council this week OK’d a rate increase for water utilities, due to rising costs.
The 2.5 percent rate increase for water and sewer utilities works out to less than 85 cents per month, or $10 per year:
• In-town water increases by 68 cents, to $27.76;
• Out-of-town water increases by 76 cents, to $31.06;
• In-town sewer increases by 71 cents, to $28.96;
• Out-of-town sewer increases by 83 cents, to $33.83.
Prices are based on minimum usage. Using extra gallons will mean extra fees.
Sewer costs have increased about 20 percent, to $1.3 million annually. Rates have not increased since 2016, so “It’s just to subsidize the increase in costs,” Town Administrator Stacey Long said.
Water and sewer service from the Town still cost less than cable television, said Councilman Rick Duncan Sr.
For sewer, large commercial users will also pay $187,390 more than last year (totaling $787,390).
Selbyville’s total budget of $5,011,608 is increasing by 17 percent (or $738,000) compared to last year. They balanced the budget, leaving only $529 unassigned for future use.
Town revenue is on the increase: $36,516 in property taxes (totaling $606,916); $311,500 in transfer taxes (totaling $600,000); $29,000 in grants (totaling $167,600); and $21,200 in licenses and permits (totaling $308,200).
Expenses will also increase. Major expense include new employees, renovations to the former PNC building for use as the new town hall and a pump for a well on Cemetery Road.
Selbyville has a full cadre of employees, including administrative staff, police, and sewer, water and streets departments. Salaries and taxes increased by about $90,000 altogether for all five departments.
But other departmental expenses have jumped up. Administrative costs are up 83 percent, to $420,000, and police costs are up 53 percent, to $574,000.
Despite all the changes, the Town’s tax rate remains at $1.85 per $100 of assessed property value, for yet another year.
By Laura Walter