Water, Sewer Rates on the Rise

RIDGEWAY – During Winnsboro Town Council’s May 2 budget work session, Council voted to increase their electric, water and sewer rates for the upcoming fiscal year in order to help balance the Town’s 2013-2014 utilities fund budget at $15,081,890. Thursday night (May 9), Ridgeway Mayor Charlene Herring announced during the first reading of Ridgeway’s budget that those increases would have to be passed on to customers in Ridgeway.

“Winnsboro’s water rates are going up,” Herring said at Thursday’s Town Council meeting, “and we have to pass those along to our customers. We don’t want to, but we have to.”

The new rates, which will take effect July 1, are:

Water:

Residential (within town limits): $13.94 (minimum) for first 1,000 gallons; $4.29 for each addition 1,000 gallons.

Residential (outside town limits): $18.69 (m) for first 1,000; $5.54 for each additional 1,000.

Commercial (within town limits): $16.94 (m) for first 1,000; $4.29 for each additional 1,000.

Commercial (outside town limits): $21.94 (m) for first 1,000; $5.54 for each additional 1,000.

Sewer:

Residential (within town limits): $10.94 (minimum) for first 1,000 gallons; $3.64 for each additional 1,000 gallons.

Residential (outside town limits): $11.69 (m) for first 1,000; $4.79 for each additional 1,000.

Commercial (within town limits): $14.94 (m) for first 1,000; $3.79 for each additional 1,000.

Commercial (outside town limits): $17.69 (m) for first 1,000; $4.79 for each additional 1,000.

While rates are going up, Ridgeway’s sewer system is showing its age. Earlier in last week’s meeting, Judy Miller, owner of Just Around the Corner, suggested that Council consider installing a portable bathroom near the fire station between the months of April and December.

“All of us are centered in the proximity of Historic Ridgeway,” Miller said. “Our sewer system is also historic, which (makes it) a struggle to operate effectively on a daily basis.”

Miller said that tourists swell the population of Ridgeway during these months, putting a strain on the sewer system. Merchants are faced with the choice of either turning a tourist away, and losing that potential revenue, or risk dealing with overflowing toilets. Her rest room, she said, has backed up three times in the last six weeks.

Miller volunteered to oversee the upkeep and supervision of a portable rest room, should the town decide to invest in one. Herring said Council would take the suggestion under consideration.

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