Middlesex board approves new water system fees

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MIDDLESEX — After a months-long process, the Middlesex Board of Commissioners voted Monday to approve new water and sewage system development fees.

The fees are a result of a change in state law dissolving acreage and lot fees. The previous fees cost residential builders in Middlesex an average of $3,261. The new system development fees are estimated to be $3,337.

The board approved a recommendation adjust the fee to a standard $3,330 that would apply to all individual residential units regardless of meter size. In accordance with House Bill 436, which the state passed in July 2017, a municipality cannot charge more than the total system development fee calculated within the analysis.

A draft of the proposed fees was available on the town’s website for 45 days beginning Oct. 9 in accordance with state policy. The board will amend its budget to reflect the new fees, which will be in effect for the next five years.

The board also approved an inter-local cooperation agreement allowing Nash County to administer the $1.5 million Rural Ready Site Program grant for the infrastructure of the Middlesex Corporate Centre. Through this agreement, Nash County will receive the proceeds of the grant and process billing for the project in conjunction with the town. A similar agreement was approved for the town’s Golden Leaf Foundation grant earlier in the year.

During the public comment portion of Monday’s meeting, Mayor Lu Harvey Lewis said comments are now only limited to agenda items. Comments not related to any item on the agenda should be emailed to the mayor or town clerk to be addressed. Residents also may call the town office to set up a personal appointment.

“We’ll be more than happy to try to get answers for them,” Lewis said. “They can call and make an appointment for a personal sit-down. We’ll put whoever we need to put in the room to get those questions answered. I always found that’s what works the best. That’s what the majority of the people in town do.”

According to the town website, residents who would like to be placed on the agenda should make a request in writing to the mayor. The request should include the person’s name, phone number, affiliation, subject matter and amount of time requested. Requests must be received the Thursday prior to the monthly town meeting.

After a closed session, the board approved to hire Cody Wilson as a full-time public works maintenance worker at $12 per hour. Wilson will have a 90-day probationary period, ending March 11.