To the Editor,
After reading the articles and editorial relating to the budget proposal by Pilot Mountain’s town manager, I feel some clarification should be made to the public with regard to the feelings of a majority of the board of commissioners and mayor.
We continue to carefully scrutinize both the general and enterprise (water and sewer) funds of this budget. We are well aware of the challenges of cost effectively delivering safe water and sewer services and intend to address these challenges in a manner that our citizens can afford and in ways that will not be detrimental to future vitality of our town.
Water/sewer rates have been increased for five consecutive years and are presently in line with other local municipalities. A budget proposal that will increase rates in excess of 50 percent for many deserves serious concern over its feasibility, particularly with regard to the financial impact on users and the possibility that it will discourage prospective residents and businesses. This is the reason for the hesitation by town officials to adopt this budget proposal. As we continue to analyze all parts of the budget, we have found revenue sources and potential cost savings that have been either overlooked or ignored.
Moreover, it is our concern that the proposed budget is primarily balanced by exorbitant increases in rates and fees on the citizens of Pilot Mountain. In addition to water and sewer rates, we are concerned over other areas requested by the board to be addressed that are not included in the proposed budget such as specific street repair and initiatives such as downtown Wi-Fi.
Any refusal to buy in to the proposed budget in its present form is not from any unwillingness to accept the town’s financial challenges. It is our duty as elected officials to balance meeting the town’s obligations with doing what we can to insure that Pilot Mountain is a place where people can afford to live and do business.
Pilot Mountain Commissioner