Editorial: Council To Consider Water, Sewer Rate Proposal

By / Editorials / الأربعاء, 17 شباط/فبراير 2016 05:00

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

The Carolina Beach Town Council will be presented with information at their Thursday February 18th, meeting regarding water and sewer rate increases to fund a $57.8 million dollar five-year infrastructure improvement plan. (See report on page 1-A)
The proposal focuses on changing the rate structure currently used for water and sewer billing. Currently the average residential meter access fee is $13.84 for water and $25.02 for sewer.  Included in the meter access fee, you are allowed 3,000 gallons of consumption before additional charges apply.  Consumption over 3,000 gallons is billed at $3.70 per 1,000 gallons for water and $6.67 per 1,000 gallons for sewer.
Under the proposal to be presented to the Council, the monthly base allocation of 3,000 per month would be replaced with a monthly fee for the meter and a charge for every 1,000 gallons of water and sewer. For example, a 5/8 or 3/4 inch residential meter would be $15.22 per month for water and $27.51 for sewer. For water use up to 3,000 gallons per month the rate would be $0.86 per 1,000 of water use and $1.46 per 1,000 of sewer. Over 3,000 gallons per month and the water rate increases to $4.28 per 1,000 gallons of water and $7.28 per 1,000 gallons of sewer treatment.
For a customer using around 6,000 gallons of water and sewer each month the monthly bill would eventually increase by  $13.98 per month.
The graph appearing above shows the proposal Council will be presented with at Thursday's meeting at 9AM at Town Hall.
The Council should take a long hard look at the numbers and consider how it will impact many on the island that are still feeling the hard reality of the current economy. Consider those on fixed incomes such as retirees and the disabled.
Consider the impact on small business owners. Perhaps this is too much to take on at one time.
It is true that Carolina Beach has a lot of aging water and sewer infrastructure that needs maintenance and replacement. But at present the water quality  - while not excellent - isn't a health hazard based on state and federal standards.
2021 may sound like it's in the distant future, but it's only five years away. And at that point, will other projects require even more rate increases?
Voice your opinion to the Council and attend the meeting.

Click here to view the presentation included in the meeting agenda... (Opens as an Acrobat PDF file)

 

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