The residents of White Lake got some good news in the budget — no tax increase. The White Lake Town Board voted unanimously to approve the budget which does carry fee increases.
A public hearing was held regarding the budget and no one signed in to speak. The hearing was declared closed and the budget ordinance was presented for adoption.
“As you know, we set a revenue neutral rate of .23 cents per $100 valuation . . .that will remain the same,” said Mayor Goldston Womble on Tuesday night.
The newly — adopted budget contains a $1 fee increase for in-town sanitation fees; a 0.60 cents increase on out-of-town sanitation fees; and $2 per cubic yard for non-seasonal commercial dumpsters.
The budget also decreased the number of gallons for the base rate for water and sewer from 2,500 down to 2,000 gallons and added a 10 percent increase on all rates for water and sewer.
Residential water deposits increased to $150. Other administrative fees were also increased.
Womble told the board that these increases had been discussed in budget work sessions and with the staff in each department.
“I’d like to say you did a good job on the budget,” said Councilman James Melvin.
“I thank all of you,” said Womble to the board and staff.
In other business, the board took up the issue of changing the days when outside irrigation is allowed. The prior ordinance entitled the “Permanent Seasonal Water Conservation Measures” originally allowed irrigation on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays during the period from May 1 through September 30 annually. Tuesday’s amendment changes those days to Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays between the hours of 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. Mayor Womble told the board the same penalties will remain in place for violations.
The board voted unanimously to lift the Water Conservation Phase 1 Water Shortage Warning. Other surrounding towns have already lifted their restrictions. According to Womble the recent rains have helped to ease the drought conditions somewhat.
“We feel like we ought to be all right on usage,” said Womble. “We feel like we’ll be in good shape with the changes to the amendment to the permanent seasonal water conservation measures.”
Womble updated the board that the town staff is drafting a fuel conservation policy. All departments have been asked to review their fuel consumption to determine where they can conserve.
Roger Goldsblatt, FCC community outreach coordinator, addressed the board regarding the transition to DTV. According to Goldsblatt, Bladen County will make the transition to DTV at noon on September 8.
Goldsblatt told the board that once the transition is made, if you have an analog television set, you will no longer be able to receive a signal and will need to purchase a converter box. The FCC has a program that offers coupons towards a converter box that can be used for analog television sets, according to Goldsblatt. The coupons are limited to two per household.
Hand-held and battery-powered televisions will not work once the transition is complete.