Chapel Hill News

Hillsborough eyes $19.5M budget

Town leaders recently got their first look at next year’s draft $19.5 million budget.

An updated budget and plan will be presented to the Town Board in mid-May, with a public hearing scheduled for May 27. The budget could be adopted in June.

It includes roughly $9 million in general operating expenses for July 2015 to June 2016, plus $10.4 million in water and sewer fund operating expenses.

The budget would leave the town’s property tax rate at 68 cents for every $100 in assessed property value. The owner of a home valued at $300,000 would pay $2,040 in town property tax. It also would keep existing water rates for another year, although the minimum monthly usage for which customers are charged could drop by 100 gallons.

The cost of sewer services would increase by 8.8 percent to 98 cents for every 1,000 gallons an in-town customer uses and $1.91 for out-of-town customers. The additional income will help pay for a $19.8 million Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrade project and loss of Efland-Cheeks customers.

Those residents are expected to join Mebane’s system, costing Hillsborough roughly $240,000 in sewer revenues.

This is the fourth year that Hillsborough issued its draft budget three months earlier than most local governments. The additional time will give local leaders and residents a chance to review, make suggestions and amend the budget, Town Manager Eric Peterson said.

The budget includes a 3.1 percent increase in general expenses. Highlights include $350,000 for street repaving, $120,000 for North Churton Street sidewalks and pedestrian improvements, $112,000 to replace three aging police cars and equipment, and $92,654 to add a full-time web content specialist and a human resources analyst.

More information

Find a copy of Hillsborough’s 2015-16 draft budget at

Questions and comments can be directed to budget director Emily Bradford at 919-732-1270, ext. 88, or via email at, or to management analyst and town spokeswoman Jen Della Valle at 919-732-1270, ext. 81, or