Sewer, water fees going up

Published 5:55 pm Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Cumberland County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to increase utility rates for both its wastewater and public water systems following a public hearing at the board’s monthly meeting Tuesday.

“Hopefully, with savings, this increase here will satisfy our needs as far as our shortfall and looking forward to trying to take care of any debt that is incurred by water and sewer and utilities,” District Three Supervisor Kevin Ingle said.

Cumberland County Water and Sewer Advisory Committee Chairman Dr. Roger Hatcher has said the county’s water/sewer deficit — the difference between its revenue and expenses — is running at $9,000 per month or $108,000 a year.

The utility rate increases are meant to help overcome these figures.

The increases include adjusting residential wastewater fees from $25 per equivalent residential unit (ERU) to $33 per ERU.

An ERU is a measurement used to compare non-residential or multi-family residential water and sewer usage to what is used by single-family residences.

Certain businesses will see an increase from $4 to $5 for every 1,000 gallons of water used above the first 2,000 gallons. Also, water charges will increase for government and educational customers from $100 for the first 2,000 gallons used to $115; for every additional 1,000 gallons, the charge will go from $15 to $17.

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Kevin Ingle

Copies of the complete text of the code amendment — which includes other utility rate increases — are available at the Cumberland County Administrator’s Office in the county’s administration building and online at

Also Tuesday, the board passed a motion directing county staff to, as soon as possible, request that the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) undertake a speed study of Columbia, Duncan Store and Ampthill Roads.

Citizens in the planned Cobbs Creek Reservoir area have expressed concerns regarding the increased traffic and speed along those roads, saying the 55 mile per hour speed limits may no longer be appropriate.

The study will likely take several months to be completed, creating the reason for the board to vote for urgency in making the request. The goal is to have the study completed before the next phase of construction at the reservoir begins.

In other business, the board approved a supplemental appropriation of nearly $8,500 to cover the cost of used vehicles purchased for the sheriff’s office.

Cumberland supervisors will hold a workshop on debt restructuring Aug. 25 at 7 p.m. in the county circuit courtroom.