Sulphur City Council approves increase in water, sewer and garbage fees

By By Natalie Stewart / American Press

SULPHUR — Residents can expect an increase in water, sewer and garbage fees next month.

The City Council approved a monthly increase of 52 cents for water, 75 cents for sewer and 83 cents for garbage collection

on Monday.

An increase of $1.23 per month in garbage collection fees was considered, but Mayor Chris Duncan said the garbage contract

was less than expected.

Kevin Alley, city finance director, said during May’s Council meeting that the readjustment in the water fee includes a 25-cent

increase to the base fee, plus a 27-cent fee for a Department of Environmental Quality test.

Residents were being charged a $3.24 fee annually for the DEQ testing, but Alley said the city decided to divide the fee up

over 12 months and charge 27 cents monthly.

Alley said the last increase for water and sewer fees took effect July 1, 2011.

When readjusting rates, he said, officials take into consideration what other municipalities and water districts charge for

their services and what the city’s actual expense is to provide water and treat sewer systems.

Alley said if rates weren’t increased, the city would have to pay the difference, which it is currently doing with money from

sales tax revenue.

“The rates, even with the increase, are still below actual cost and there will still be a difference for the city to pick

up,” he added.

No residents attended Monday's meeting to express any concerns over the increase, and Duncan said the only call

he received regarding the issue was to tell him the rates in Sulphur are still cheaper than surrounding municipalities.