JONESVILLE — The Jonesville Town Council approved a 5-percent increase in water rates at its August meeting to make up for a shortfall from the 2014-15 fiscal year and build up reserve funds.
Town Council members, in discussing their 2015-16 budget, agreed to wait until they could review all 12 months of the previous year’s water expenses before deciding on whether to increase rates. The final numbers showed the town collected a total of $682,884 during the 12-month period from August of 2014 until July of 2015, reflecting a shortage of $12,073 (1.77%) from the projection for the fiscal year 2014-15 and $20,116 (2.95%) below the projections for the current fiscal year.
The increase will raise the rate from $19.50 for the first 2,000 gallons to $20. The rate for each additional 1,000 gallons will rise from $6.10 to $6.50. Buffkin said the increase will be reflected on the next water bills scheduled to go out on Sept. 1.
In other business, Buffkin said Keith Vestal, Yadkin County’s Emergency Services director, was at the meeting to answer questions about a proposed hazard mitigation plan that must be approved by local governments in order for them to maintain eligibility to receive federal or state assistance in the event of a declared emergency. “The town could either do its own plan or we can be part of the county’s plan,” Buffkin said. “We agreed to join with the county’s plan.”
Also at the meeting, the town council set a public hearing for Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. on a recommendation by the Jonesville Planning Board to amend its zoning ordinance to list solar farms (photovoltaic power stations) as a conditional use in the R-20 zoning district. The provisions listed in the table of uses for public works and public utility facilities will also be included.
Buffkin also announced the town had received a proposal from the N.C. Department of Transportation to design and install plantings at the roundabout on N.C. 67 and PVH Quality Way. As with previous agreements, he said the DOT had agreed to pay the entire cost for the landscaping for one year, after which the town would be responsible for maintenance and/or replacement of the materials.
Plans call for the landscaping design to include small trees, flowers and low ground cover.
In other business, council members voted to renew the town’s five-year lease agreement with YVEDDI (Yadkin Valley Economic Development District, Inc.) for use of the old Arlington Community building as a Head Start facility. Buffkin said the new lease is similar to the previous one.
Also at the meeting, the board voted to declare a 2001 model Ford Ranger pickup used primarily by the water department as surplus and authorized its sale. Buffkin said the truck is in need of repairs.
Kathy Chaffin may be reached at 336-258-4058.