Alexandria Aldermen Take First Reading Action on Ordinance to Increase Water and Sewer Rates

June 28, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page

Due to rate increases passed down from the Smith County Utility District and to get their own city water and sewer fund out of the red, the Alexandria Aldermen Tuesday night adopted an ordinance on first reading to increase rates.

Second and final reading passage of the ordinance will be scheduled at the next meeting on Tuesday, July 26 at 7:00 p.m. at the Alexandria City Hall, following a public hearing.

City Attorney Vester Parsley reads ordinance as Alexandria Aldermen Vote to Increase Water and Sewer Rates from dwayne page on Vimeo.
Under the plan, the minimum bill for Alexandria water and sewer customers would increase by a total of ten dollars per month, going from $29.50 to $39.50.

The rate for Alexandria water customers would increase from $14.75 to $19.75 for a minimum bill up to 2,000 gallons. Customers would pay an extra 70 cents per additional 100 gallons of usage. The minimum sewer bill up to 2,000 gallons would also increase by $5.00, going from $14.75 to $19.75.

Water customers outside the corporate limits would see their rates jump from $21.30 to $28.52 per month for a minimum bill of up to 2,000 gallons. Customers would pay an extra 70 cents per additional 100 gallons of usage per month.

The ordinance states that the municipality of the Town of Alexandria is forced to increase the rates "due to the rate increases from the Smith County Utility District and to meet the financial obligations of the Water and Sewer Departments". The City of Alexandria purchases its water supply from the Smith County Utility District.

The increase will be effective upon passage on second and final reading in July.

Under state law, if a utility's water and sewer fund operates in the red for two years in a row, the state could force the utility to raise rates to make it self supporting. Mayor Ria Baker said the city's water and sewer fund ran in the red this past year.

Members of the Alexandria council are Aldermen Pat Jackson, Tony Tarpley, Addie Farley, Derrick Baker, and Darrell Dixon. Baker was absent Tuesday night. Vester Parsley is the Alexandria city attorney.

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