Lane Town Council has been advised to consider enforcing their water policy. Council heard the advise during an August 13, audit presentation that included a negative net asset in the water/sewer fund due to a liability that technically the town is not responsible for and also the lack in collecting water fees. He said as a small community, administration tends to be more forgiving when water bills are not paid, however late fees must be collected because they can affect certain loans.
USDA Rural Development recently awarded the Town of Lane loans and grants to provide enhanced sewer collection lines for the remaining areas of the town and extend water lines to residences in the Town of Lane. The award comes with conditions that, if not followed, can affect the funding.
The auditor said as the town incurs additional expenses for the loans, they would have to be diligent in the water/sewer collection process to include adequate fees. Those rates are set by the state. Municipalities control only property taxes and water/sewer fees. He also recommended the town hire a local accounting firm to assist with accounting and prepare the financial statements.
In other business, Mayor Charlie Fulton and councilmembers presented Ellen Hamilton, Executive Director, Pee Dee Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Abuse, a donation of $7,500 to support the efforts of a satellite Crisis Center in Kingstree. The Town of Lane will be the designated sponsor of the trauma counseling room. The crisis center is located at 2 Courthouse Square beside the Williamsburg County Courthouse and is surrounded by agencies that have everything to facilitate victims’ needs.