Will you pay more or less for water, sewer?

By: Staff report
Daily Journal file photo A change in the way Hamlet charges for water could lower the bills for some customers and slightly raise costs for others.

HAMLET — Will your water and sewer bill go up or down under Hamlet’s new plan?

The best way to know is to find your old bill to see how much water you use and sewage you produce. If each is less than 2,500 gallons a month — a likely amount for people who live alone — your bill probably will drop.

For others, costs will rise with use of more thousands of gallons.

Here are the specifics for water charges for those who live inside city limits:

⦁ A base fee of $18, a drop from the current $21, plus …

⦁ $2.50/1,000 for use of zero to 5,000 gallons.

⦁ $3/1,000 for use of 5,001 to 10,100 gallons.

⦁ $3.50/1,000 for use of 10,001 to 15,000 gallons.

⦁ $4/1,000 for use of 15,001-plus gallons.

For those outside city limits, cost will be:

⦁ A base charge of $28, plus …

⦁ $4.50/1,000 for use of zero to 5,000 gallons

⦁ $5/1,000 for use of 5,001 to 10,000 gallons

⦁ $5.50/1,000 for use of 10,001 to 15,000 gallons

⦁ $6/1,000 for use of 15,001-plus gallons

The revamped charges will “help ensure that those customers who use the least are not bearing the burden of an increased water rate,” City Manager Jonathan Blanton told City Council members this week.

“These increases (also) will produce over $200,000 worth of additional revenue” for the city, he said — important in a year when the council has postponed decisions on cutting more than $100,000 in expenditures but still may have to dip into savings.

Here are the specifics for sewage rates for those who live inside city limits:

⦁ Base fee of $13, a drop from the current $16, plus …

⦁ $4/1,000 for producing zero to 5,000 gallons.

⦁ $4.50/1,000 for producing 5,001 to 10,000 gallons.

⦁ $5/1,000 for producing 10,001 to 15,000 gallons.

⦁ $5.50/1,000 for producing 15,001-plus gallons.

For those outside city limits, cost will be:

⦁ Base charge of $18, plus …

⦁ $8/1,000 for producing zero to 5,000 gallons.

⦁ $8.50/1,000 for producing 5,001 to 10,000 gallons.

⦁ $9/1,000 for producing 10,001 to 15,000 gallons.

⦁ $9.50/1,000 for producing 15,001-plus gallons.

“These increases will produce at least $100,000 worth of additional revenue to the city’s enterprise fund,” Blanton said, “bridging the widening gap between expenditures and revenue in the sewer funds.”

Enterprise fund-financed entities are supposed to support themselves through the collection of fees for services used. Council members cannot take money out of the budget’s general fund — made up of taxes paid — to, say, repair a broken water main. Dividing funds this way helps cities ensure that fee-based services don’t create deficits.

However, if the enterprise fund runs dry, the city could dip into the general fund to make up the deficit — which generally is not advisable because that money supports other city projects.

Daily Journal file photo A change in the way Hamlet charges for water could lower the bills for some customers and slightly raise costs for others.
https://www.yourdailyjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/web1_waterfaucet-1.jpgDaily Journal file photo A change in the way Hamlet charges for water could lower the bills for some customers and slightly raise costs for others.
A breakdown of Hamlet’s new fee schedule

Staff report