Developer Randy Voller took over the mayor's gavel and a town operating with a deficit Monday night.
After Nancy May ended her second term as Pittsboro mayor by turning her command over to Voller, the town's accountant presented the fiscal 2004-2005 audit and explained that the town incurred a negative cash flow this year.
Bobby Wood, an accountant whom the town hired, told the board that Pittsboro experienced a deficit of $26,000 this year.
Wood suggested the board consider raising water and sewer fees, one of the town's biggest sources of revenue, for the next few years.
The board already has raised those fees by 40 percent since 2002.
Town Manager David Hughes said Pittsboro probably will have to raise its fees by another 10 percent.
"Our strategy has been to have increases over time" rather than have residents faced with a 50 percent increase all at once, said Hughes, who resigned from his position last week and will leave at the end of the month.
Hughes added that the town is expecting to gain more residents and therefore more town revenue starting next year. With five new subdivisions under way, Pittsboro's population of 2,500 is expected to triple by 2008.
Also at Monday's meeting, the board tabled for a second time a measure to eliminate parking on the north and south sides of West Street in front of the General Store Cafe.
Board members said they wanted to speak further about the issue with the restaurant's owner, Vance Remick, before making a final decision.
Remick has said he would be willing to eliminate the parking as long as a crosswalk is installed in front of his restaurant to ensure the safety of his customers. Town Planner David Monroe said Monday night he doubted the state Department of Transportation would approve a crosswalk because one already exists about 100 feet away in the town's traffic circle.
After Voller was sworn in by the town clerk, he swore in Pamela Baldwin, who began her first term on the town Board of Commissioners, and Christopher Walker, who began his second term.
Voller then thanked May, whom he beat in the election by 17 votes, for her service, and presented her with a plaque. He also presented Commissioner Burnice Griffin Jr. with a plaque for his service on the board. Griffin did not run for re-election.
Staff writer Leah Friedman can be reached at 932-2002 or firstname.lastname@example.org.