Town raises costs for Henry Horton

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

CHAPEL HILL -- The Board of Mayor and Alderman has voted to increase sewer rates for customers beyond the town line where the only customer is Henry Horton State Park.

Such an increase in the sewer rate "is probably going to raise it $800 to $900 a month," Town Administrator Mike Hatten reported last week, adding that, "They haven't had a raise for quite a while."

Chapel Hill's utility budget is about $450,000, or about a third of the town's annual budget.

Henry Horton State Park gets water from the Marshall County Board of Public Utilities and sewer service from Chapel Hill.

The town's sewer rate change affects all of its out of town sewer customers but the state park is the only one, Hatten said.

If there was an out of town sewer customer, that household or business would pay a base fee of $16 that's up from $15, and price of $6.60 per 1,000 gallons, up from $5.50. The sewage is metered at the lagoon. Most residences average 5,000 gallons per month.

Hatten adds that the town has increased residents' rates without increasing rates for those beyond the line.

Also on Jan. 12, the Board voted to accept town planning commissioners' recommendation for:

* A landscaping ordinance.

"It's especially for commercial property" to have buffer zones between homes and stores, Hatten said. The new rules to go into effect later this winter would address situations such as any potential business to be developed near homes.

Issues addressed include noise and lighting.

* Rezoning land at the corner of Eagleville Road and Henry Horton Highway.

The owners of B&W Excavating wanted it rezoned, said Hatten, who didn't "have a clue on what they want to do with it."

However, he said the corner would be great for a filling station coupled with a fast food restaurant similar to the Love's station at Interstate 65 and State Route 99.

Hatten said that because "You can't buy gas north of the Shell station here and that's south of the Post Office."