Utility Board raises rates

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 22, 2007

LINDEN &045; The Utility Board voted to raise the utility rates by 5 percent on water and sewer services provided by the city.

Utility Clerk Ashley Drake said the increases in rates are usually an annual thing for the board to pass. She said the last rate increase was last year, though it wasn’t an increase across the board.

Drake said the city is usually encouraged annually by auditors to raise the rates so the city doesn’t fall behind inflation and end up losing funds needed to continue the services. Public Works Director Terry Tyson said even with the rate increases the city water service should run close to the average cost statewide and the sewer rates would likely be lower than average for the state.

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&8220;The yearly raise is due to inflation,&8221; said Drake. &8220;There is inflation on the material costs and sewer costs, and we have to keep in line with inflation so we don’t fall behind.&8221;

Tyson said there are more things involved with providing water and sewage than most people would think. He said the rise in cost is due to a lot of the variable involved with providing the water access.

Tyson said the city is still paying off some of the cost of the water system in place. He said these increases are crucial for paying off what the city owes for providing the service to the community.

According to the report presented to the Utility Board prior to the vote in town customers will pay 63 cents extra for the minimum charge each month, while out of town customers will pay an extra 95 cents. For each 1,000 gallons over the minimum 1,000, in town customers will pay an extra 11 cents and out of town customers will pay an extra 18 cents.

For sewer services, customers will pay and extra 43 cents a month.

If water usage remains the same as the December 2006 use, the utility board will take in an $8,754.48 a year on minimum in town use and $8,640.12 on in town overage. The department will look to take in an additional $6,053.40 a year from out of town minimum use and $4,660.20 in out of town overage.

The estimated sewer increase per year if the December 2006 use is applied is $5,743.08 and the total annual increase is $33,851.28.