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Conover leaders adopted the city's 2012-13 fiscal year budget Monday night â€” after about 15 minutes of confusion at City Hall.
The city's $13.3 million total budget includes a 3 percent water rate increase that adds about $3 to the average family's annual bill.
The city of Hickory requested the 3 percent increase. Conover, which gets its water from Hickory, will pass that increase to its customers. Maiden, Claremont and Catawba â€” also Hickory water customers â€” will absorb the rate increase.
Councilman Joie Fulbright, who cast the lone dissenting vote against Conover's 2012-13 budget, said he could not support the water increase.
"We know (the increase) came from our suppliers, but we also know other cities did not pass that increase on to their citizens," Fulbright said. "I'm only one vote tonight, but I'm voting for 8,165 people when I make my vote tonight."
To read more of this story, pick up the Wednesday print edition of Catawba County's community newspaper, The Observer News Enterprise, at newsstands throughout the county.