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Pilot Point officials approve water rate hike

Profile image for By John D. Harden / Staff Writer
By John D. Harden / Staff Writer

PILOT POINT — Residents and business owners will see an increase to their monthly water bills after city officials unanimously agreed to amend an ordinance, raising rates to repay bonds slated for city improvements.

City officials approved this week a 7.2 percent increase to the city water rates and a 2.1 percent rate increase to the sewer rates to help repay $1.1 million the city will use to pay for street and sidewalk improvements, historical preservation projects and park improvements.

Officials said residents can expect to see the changes on their May water bills.

Pilot Point residents living within the city limits will spend an additional $20 to $75 annually, depending on the size of their water meters. And rates outside city limits could increase by $20 to $118, depending on water meter size.

Additional charges will be added based on water consumption.

Because some businesses have larger water meters than homes, they may see a larger rate increase.

City officials said the new rates will generate approximately $63,000 in additional revenue annually on average for the 20-year bond repayment schedule.

A citywide vote was not required by the city to issue the certificates of obligation debt, City Manager Tom Adams said.

“Most of the debt will be paid back in six years,” Adams said. “Under the proposed plan, a tax increase is not required either.”

Some council members said they felt the rate increase was a big jump for taxpayers, but Adams said the increase will help pay for more than $700,000 in water and wastewater plant improvements.

Adams said the city must meet compliance with state regulations regarding water-supply levels.

“The city has a more than adequate water supply to meet the city demands, but the addition of a water well will satisfy state requirements,” he said.

The water system improvements include the drilling of a well and adding a 200,000-gallon groundwater storage tank.

The water well project along with the related water system improvements will be completed first in the series of projects.

The remaining $400,000 will be used for the street, sidewalk, historic preservation and park improvements.

According to officials at Regions Bank, the paying agent and registrar for the debt issuance, the certificate of obligations could be approved in late April.

For more information about new water rates, call the city’s utility services at 940-686-2165.

JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882 and via Twitter @JDHarden.