Selma residents will pay less for electrical service but slightly more for water service in a proposed budget presented this week to the Selma Town Council.
Town Manager Jon Barlow’s $19,042,189 spending plan for the 2017-18 fiscal year is down about two percent from the current fiscal year budget due in large part because last year’s budget included funding for the Noble Street sewer project.
The budget proposal keeps the ad valorem tax rate at 51 cents per $100 valuation, reduces electric rates on average of 2.5 percent, keeps garbage and sewer rates unchanged, but does include a 25 cents increase per 1,000 gallons of water consumed. The average family will see a $0.75 to $1.00 per month increase due to the higher water costs.
The electric rate decrease will save the average family about $5.50 per month, Barlow said.
Funds are included for a new $385,000 sewer vac truck and money for two new police cars. Money is also allocated for new billing software at the Town Hall, a new position in the water/sewer department, and a new full-time firefighter.
Barlow said one of the biggest challenges in preparing the budget is dealing with sharp increases in health insurance costs, workers compensation rates, and liability insurance premiums. Selma is anticipating a 6.9 percent increase in health care costs this year or about $25 more per month for each full-time employee.
No one spoke during a public hearing on the budget Tuesday night.
This is the last budget for Barlow. He is retiring later this year.