Sawmills residents to see water, sewer rate increase

Apr. 04, 2014 @ 06:35 AM

Sawmills residents will see a small increase in water and sewer rates next year, and may again each year for the next 10 years, according to a plan approved Thursday during a budget workshop by the Sawmills Town Council.

Sewer rates per 1,000 gallons will go up 50 cents to $5. The water base rate will rise from $14.25 to $15. The sewer base rate will go from $16.25 to $18. The water rate per 1,000 gallons will stay the same at $4.50.

The Sawmills Town Council approved a 10-year plan that projects price increases until 2024, by which time the rates will have doubled.

Town Manager Seth Eckard said, “If we stay on this plan, when we get to the end of that 10 years, we will have accomplished a lot. It will prevent having to increase rates extraordinarily at some future date.”

But Eckard said approval of the plan doesn't guarantee yearly increases.

“We’ll look at each one of these every year and make a determination. We’re not committing to 10 years' worth of rate increases. We’re just committing to one year today,” Eckard said. “

Also Thursday the town council approved a policy allowing water and sewer customers to get relief on their water bill if there is a major water leak in their line. The customer would still have to pay half the cost of the excess water usage that was due to the leak. This is the same policy the City of Lenoir uses.

Sawmills already had a policy in place to adjust a customer’s bill if there is a sewer problem.