Last Modified: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 10:53 PM
SULPHUR — The City Council proposed raising water, sewer and garbage collection fees for residents, effective at the end of next month.
According to the ordinance introduced at Tuesday’s council meeting, water fees would increase by 52 cents per month, sewer fees by 75 cents per month and garbage collection fees by $1.23.
Kevin Alley, city finance director, said the readjustment in the water fee includes a 25-cent increase to the base fee, plus a 27-cent fee for Department of Environmental Quality testing.
Residents had a $3.24 fee attached to their water bill for the DEQ testing annually, but Alley said the city decided to divide it into 12 months and charge 27 cents monthly.
He said the last rate increase for water and sewer fees took effect July 1, 2011.
“There was a period of time when the city didn’t increase water or sewer fees, and we fell behind on rate levels,” Mayor Chris Duncan said. “We have been slowly trying over the years to gradually get to the level we should be at. We are looking at the future really closely and evaluating fees every year.”
Alley said that when readjusting rates, 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.
“If the rates weren’t increased, then the city would have to pay the difference, which it is currently doing out of sales tax revenue money,” he said. “The rates, even with the increase, are still below the actual cost and there will still be a difference for the city to pick up.”
A public hearing on the issue is set for 5:30 p.m. June 10 in the Council Chambers in City Hall, 500 N. Huntington St. The council will vote on the rate increases June 10.
Posted By: Telling It Like It Is On: 5/15/2013
This is beyond ridiculous! Where..and how does the City of SUlphur come to the conclusion that the increase in rates "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"? I challenge the City of Sulphur to provide the names of the cities that they assessed to reach their conclusion.
Sulphur has the highest tax rates in the Lake area and the increase this time is only aimed at generating additional revenue from the increase in population expected to take affect. As for water testing? Sulphur sustains, on an annual basis, more broken water lines than any other city in this area. The water is horrible; trash pickup is also a joke; there is more trash left on the side of the road after a trash truck dumps the can than when it was picked up.
RIDICULOUS! Absolutely RIDICULOUS!