The Brown County Water Improvement District board of directors approved a budget for the coming fiscal year that, while "trimmed," will result in a slight increase of water rates throughout the county.

Dennis Spinks, general manager for the district, presented the board with three budget scenarios at the special called meeting on Monday. The approved budget has a rate of $1.3766 per 1,000 gallons of treated water, which is a 0.46 percent increase and a .6977 rate per 1,000 gallons of untreated water or 0.80 percent increase.

"For the City of Brownwood, that will mean an increase in the budget of about $8,071," Spinks explained after the meeting was adjourned, assuming the probably pass-through to retail customers. Ken Thomas, city administrator for Early, said he would estimate it would mean about a $1,500 increase to Early's budget.

In other action Monday, the board gave Spinks the authority to declare Stage 3 of the district's drought contingency plan when necessary. Spinks said the weekend's rains had likely "put off our going to Stage 3 another four maybe six days."

Stage 3 water restrictions are to go into effect when the lake level reaches 1,410 elevation. Right now, Spinks said, Lake Brownwood is at 1,410. feet.

Rain fall in the lake had raised the lake level .2 of a foot, Spinks said, but there was very little run off.