Pittsboro simplifies water, sewer bills to promote affordable housing


EDITOR'S NOTE (11:30 a.m. on 01/26/2024): An editing error occurred suggesting the change was regarding electricity bills; it was not. The ordinance change only affects water and sewer bills. The Chatham News & Record regrets the error and any misunderstanding from the previous version of the article.

PITTSBORO – The Town of Pittsboro Board of Commissioners met Monday, Jan. 8.

Owners of some multi-unit buildings will see lower water and sewer bills thanks to an ordinance change on monthly utility charges.

“For apartment complexes or anything that has one meter servicing multiple units, we have been charging our base rate times the number of units in that location,” said Finance Director Heather Meacham. “So if there are 40 apartments and our base rate is $23, it’s 40 times 23 and then usage on top of that. In line with our strategic plan and wanting to be a community that is open for affordable housing and those options, we want to remove that language from our Code of Ordinance.

“The way it will go essentially, is that those apartment complexes and any place that has multiple units hooked up to one meter, we would just be charging them the one base rate and then usage on top of that.”

The move will take effect in February and will not be retroactive.

“This is a very important topic that has come up in regard to affordable housing in multiple ways,” said Mayor Kyle Shipp. “We appreciate the work and our partners in Sanford for working with us on this to make this policy.”

In addition, the board amended the budget ordinance fee schedule to remove the related language from there as well.

A hearing on an annexation request by Friendship Road, LLC for 5.6 acres of property located at 45 The Whites Way was held.

“This particular petitioner, who did have a conditional zoning approved in 2021, now has a site plan approved and is ready to get started on construction,” said Planning Director Randy Cahoon-Tingle. “This is actually 204 feet from the town limits and this particular piece, as a condition of their conditional rezoning, was supposed to come before you and ask for non-contiguous annexation into the town limits.”

Following the hearing, the board approved the extension of the town’s corporate limits.

The board appointed Brian Finnigan, the lone applicant, as the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board’s ETJ member and then reappointed Alfreda Alston and Charity Mize to the Planning Board for the In-Town and ETJ representatives respectively.

The board was also presented with the results of their FY 2023 audit report which returned a clean opinion.

“You guys got an unmodified opinion, which is the best opinion you can get on an audit,” said Sharpe Patel PLLC senior audit manager Jacob Allen. “We did have some adjustments to the audit but they were routine adjustments. Ones we have every year. There was nothing out of the ordinary.”

The Town of Pittsboro Board of Commissioners will next meet Feb. 12.