PSA proposes sewer rate increases

By Allen Worrell -

The Carroll County Public Service Authority (PSA) will hold a public hearing June 11 regarding proposed sewer rate increases.

Carroll County PSA Assistant Director Dana Phillips said the rate increase would put the Authority in line with the incremental rate increases the Town of Hillsville has levied in recent years.

“We have 13 customers on Willie’s (B&P) side of town that we can’t serve or treat their sewer. Therefore, we bill based on the water usage and then send that usage for the town and they in turn in bill us for sewer at that rate,” Phillips said. “We got behind when they did the incremental increase. We were paying the town more than we were taking in, so while we were looking at rates, we looked at our revenue on the customers’ side and came to the conclusion to make that equal because it costs more to treat sewer. So we have put a proposal together for the public hearing. There would be no increase on the mandatory sewer customer.”

Under the proposed sewer rate increases for the Carroll County PSA, residential customers would see the minimum rate increase from $25 to $28. Commercial 12 customers would see sewer rates rise from a minimum of $35 to $38 if the plan is approved. The price for sewer after 2,000 gallons per month would stay the same – at the current price of $8 per 1,000 gallons for residential and $8.50 per 1,000 gallons for commercial customers if the proposal is passed.

Industrial sewer rates would increase from $101.01 for a minimum to $118 under the proposal, while all sewer over 2,000 gallons would increase from $7.12 per 1,000 gallons to $8.25 per 1,000 gallons for industrial customers if the plan is approved. Also, the sewer flat rate would go from $31 to $34 monthly.

All the above mentioned increases would take effect June 11, 2019. Additionally, Commercial 11 customers would see the minimum sewer rate increase from $35 to $50 effective June 1, 2019.

“We went back and looked at residential and commercial rates throughout the county. On our sewer budget we were a little low, so we looked at raising the minimum three dollars from $25 to $28 and commercial $35 to $38,” Phillips said. “That would be three dollars just on the minimum and nothing on the over 2,000 gallons. So before you today you have a proposed sewer rate schedule which would increase the budget by about $36,324 annually. It is for your consideration to see if you would like a public hearing.”

PSA Vice Chairman Keith Meredith made a motion to hold a public hearing on the proposed increases on June 11 at 3 p.m. or soon thereafter. Jeanette Dalton seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

“It’s kind of like the supervisors having to raise taxes to meet the bills and keep everything running, but unfortunately with the town we have had to do this before. It’s a difficult position for us to be in when we are losing money on customers,” Meredith said. “With that being said, I would make the motion that we proceed with the public hearing to get some feedback on the rates.”

Allen Worrell can be reached at (276) 779-4062 or on Twitter@AWorrellTCN

By Allen Worrell