The Franklin News-Post|
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Friday, December 7, 2012
By KEN BRADLEY - Staff Writer
Rocky Mount Town Council will be asked Monday night at its monthly meeting to consider raising water and sewer rates incrementally to balance out the cost of operations.
James Ervin, town manager, said the town council's Public Utilities Committee has recommended that town council raise water and sewer rates by 51 percent to $34.02 by 2016.
The current rate for customers that have a 3,000 gallons or less water and sewer usage per month is $22.50, Ervin said.
As proposed, the minimum bill for town residential customers would increase by $2.52 a month, beginning in 2013, followed by an increase of $3 a month each year over the next three years.
This would bring the monthly cost to residents to $34.02 by 2016.
The town's water and sewer operations have been operated at a loss for a number of years, Ervin said. In past years, the loss has been made up by transferring funds from meals tax revenue to the water and sewer operations account.
During last year's budget process, town council twice refused to approve an increase in water and sewer rates. The last hike in water and sewer rates was in 2007.
"The list is long for needed capital improvements," Ervin said. Revenue from the meals tax could be used to help with the cost of these improvements.
One example of such capital improvements is upgrades to the town's water plant. Last month, town council learned it will cost about $290,300 for the upgrades to the water treatment plant. Upgrades include replacing motors, variable speed controls, an emergency generator connection switch and new electrical panels for the raw water pump house.