New Water Rates Set

Published 4:41 pm Thursday, November 18, 2010

FARMVILLE – Town Council adopted new water and sewer rates during its November meeting.

The increase sees the minimum bill rise by $5.54 every two months, or about $2.25 per month, from $36.33 to $41.87 every two months.

The new rates will take effect with the first bill of 2011, which goes out to residents in February.

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The increase will generate an additional $540,843 for the Town each year.

The last water and sewer rate increase was in 2007.

At a public hearing on the new rates, which also see an increase in deposits for new water and sewer accounts, there were no speakers.

As council members approached the motion to adopt the new rates, Town Manager Gerald Spates recommended that the motion stipulate they would take effect with the February billing, which will include part of December, along with January and part of February.

Do that, he advised, rather than say the new rates will take effect as of January 1. The new deposits do take effect on January first but with the Town's water and sewer bills go out every two months and those new rates will include a portion of December, Spates noted.

If council were to have said the new water and sewer rates take effect January 1, 2011 there would be confusion and complaints about the December portion of that first billing period.

A motion citing the February billing makes it clear the new rates will apply for the December portion of that billing period.

“I just ran into that with the car tags so I don't want to hear that with the water bill,” Spates told council members during the November meeting.

“What's going to happen,” Spates warned, if the February billing period is not stipulated, “is somebody's going to come in and say, “Well, we had 15 days in December on the old rate but you billed me for the whole rate…if you make it effective January 1. I'd say start with the February billing. The deposits and everything go into effect January 1 but the new rate goes in with the February billing which covers part of December, January and February.”

And that is what Town Council did.

The minimum out of town rate will increase from $54.50 every two months to $62.81.

The rate schedule sees the minimum charge-for the first 3,000 gallons-increase from $17.30 to $19.03. From 3,001 to 20,000 gallons, per 1,000 gallons, the increase will be from $2.66 to $2.93. And for use of more than 20,001 gallons, the per 1,000-gallon rate will rise from $4 to $4.40.

For customers in town averaging about 10,000 gallons of water use per two month the bill will increase from $75.43 to $86.99 every two months.

For out of town customers, the 10,000 gallon average will see their bill rise from $113.15 to $130.57 every two months.

In town customers averaging 22,000 gallons every two months will see an increase from $148.09 to $170.81 every two months.

Those out of town averaging 22,000 gallons every two months will notice their bill increase from $222.14 to $256.41 every two months.

The sewer bills equal 120 percent of the water bill.

In addition to the rate increase, which will see sewer bills increase from 110 percent of your water use to 120 percent and water rates increase by 10 percent, there are the deposit increases, too, for new water accounts.

In town deposits will rise from $75 to $100, with out of town deposits going from $120 to $150.

Commercial consumers will see deposits rise in town from $150 to $200 for use in excess of 20,000 gallons per two months, with out of town deposits rising from $225 to $300.