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City to study higher water, sewer rates


© St. Petersburg Times, published April 18, 2000

INVERNESS -- The City Council will consider a plan tonight that would increase water and sewer rates so the city can move pipes out of the way of future road-widening projects.

For the average household, which uses about 2,000 gallons of water and 2,000 gallons of sewer each month, the proposed rate increases would add 94 cents to monthly bills, city finance director Amy McLean said.

City officials anticipate it will cost nearly $3-million during the next eight years to move water and sewer lines so the state can widen State Road 44 east, U.S. 41 south and U.S. 41 north.

The proposed rate changes would bring at least $60,000 more into the city's coffers each year, helping to pay for the cost of moving about 10 miles of water and sewer lines, McLean said.

"Really this (proposed rate increase) is trying to increase our revenues so that when those projects hit us, we have the money to move the utilities out of the easement," city Public Works Director Bill Thatcher said.

Under the proposed increase, the $6 base fee for water use and the $6 base fee for sewer use would each go up 31 cents per month. Water prices would go from $1.17 to $1.22 per 1,000 gallons. Sewer rates would increase from $2.63 to $2.74 per 1,000 gallons. The maximum sewer bill for residences would go from $27.04 to $28. If the council decides to move forward with the rate changes, it will hold a public hearing at its May 2 meeting before voting.

The new rates would go into effect for the city's 3,582 water and sewer customers as soon as the City Council approves them, which could be as early as May 2.

The proposal also would give residents more time to comply with mandatory connection notices, extending the time frame from 90 days to a year.

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