Water Rates Up in Budget

RIDGEWAY – Town Council gave the OK to first reading of the 2014-2015 budget during their May 8 meeting, and with that came an OK for a water and sewer rate increase that encompasses slightly more than the increase being foisted upon them by the Town of Winnsboro.

“We pay for all the water we buy wholesale from Winnsboro and they go up on their rates,” Ridgeway Mayor Charlene Herring said. “In order to make some profit and provide the services, such as a person who needs help with their water and the testing and all that, we have to go up on ours, too.”

But instead of just passing along Winnsboro’s 78-cent increase on rates across the board, Councilman Doug Porter recommended adding a few more cents to the base rate for the first 1,000 gallons for both water and sewer.

“We’ve always passed on any rate increases from Winnsboro. This year, they’re going to increase their rates per 1,000 gallons 78 cents,” Porter said. “This is our major source of revenue, so if we have a lot of repairs that need to be done – re-waxing the Town water tank (two weeks ago) cost anywhere in the neighborhood of $10,000.”

Councilman Donald Prioleau moved to accept Porter’s recommendation and Councilman Russ Brown offered a second. The motion passed without descent.

The amended water and sewer rates for the first 1,000 gallons, effective July 1, are:

Resident (in town): Water — $15; Sewer – $12

Resident (outside town): Water – $20; Sewer – $13

Commercial (in town): Water – $18; Sewer – $16

Commercial (outside town): Water – $23; Sewer – $19.

Overage rates for each additional 1,000 gallons will only carry the 78-cent increase passed along from the Town of Winnsboro. Those rates, also effective July 1, are:

Resident (in town): Water — $5.07; Sewer – $4.42

Resident (outside town): Water – $6.32; Sewer – $5.57

Commercial (in town): Water – $5.07; Sewer – $4.57

Commercial (outside town): Water – $6.32; Sewer – $5.57.

Council did not propose any changes to water tap fees, which will remain at $500 for customers within the town limits and $800 for customers outside the town limits for a three-quarter-inch tap, non-bore. A 1-inch non-bore tap is also available for $900 for customers outside the town limits. Boring ads 10 percent to each fee. Sewer taps, both non-bore and bore, are provided at cost.

Ridgeway’s proposed general fund budget comes in at $217,550, while their water and sewer fund is expected to be $359,355.

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