Hike in water rates approved

KINDER — Residents and businesses here will be paying more for water beginning next month.

The council agreed Monday to approve increase water rates due to an increase in water supplied by the Southwest Allen Parish Water District.

New Councilwoman LaToya Tunwar voted against the rate increase saying the information had not been presented to the public prior to taking the vote.

“We should have gone to the public first,” she said. “I wasn’t even informed about it. We need to get the public more information on what is going on.”

The increase is the result of the Southwest Allen Parish Water District going up on the rates it currently charges the town to purchase its water from them, Town Clerk Traci Fontenot said.

The increase will be 70-cents per thousand gallons beginning with the February bills.

That cost will be passed on to about 1,100 customers, she said.

The current cost is $16.79 for the first 2,000 gallons for residential users and $29.35 for commercial users. That cost will increase to $3.38 per thousand gallons after 2,000 gallons for both residential and commercial rates.

The average household pays about $40 a month, Mayor Wayland LaFargue said.

“We have to pass the increase on to customers because we cannot absorb that,” LaFargue said.

Water customers could see an additional hike in March as a result of the annual Consumer Price Index increase.

“We raise our rates each year based on the CPI adjustments,” Fontenot said.

The last CPI increase — of less than one percent — was in March 2018.

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