DELBARTON – The second reading of a proposed Water Rate Ordinance was approved by the Delbarton City Council at a regular meeting held Monday, Jan. 11.
The first reading was approved at the last Delbarton City Council meeting on Dec. 28 2015. If the final reading is approved, the Water Rate Ordinance will raise the cost of the minimum monthly bill $6.80 per month.
Currently, customers are being charged $14.30 per 2,000 gallons of water used. If approved, the actions taken at the previous meeting will increase the minimum bill to $25.10 per every 2,000 gallons used. This increases the price by $6.80 per 2,000 gallons.
The increase will allow the city to be in compliance with Senate Bill 234 and allow for debt coverage.
Senate Bill 234 went into effect June 12, 2015. To comply with the statutory requirements of Senate Bill 234, a city must maintain a cash working reserve. This allows the city to build an emergency revenue fund and enables the city to have money for repairs in case of an emergency.
At the December 28 meeting, Preece distributed hand- out sheets indicating the calculations used to determine the new rates. “No one wants to raise water rates,” Delbarton Mayor, John Preece explained at the previous meeting. “We have lost money across the board. The bottom line is, we have to raise the rates,” Preece continued.
At the meeting on Monday, Preece discussed the process involved before adopting the Water Rate Ordinance. “We had the option of having two readings or three readings. We have elected to do three readings. Before you can do the final reading, you have to have a public hearing to allow public comments before you can ask for approval of the ordinance,” Preece explained.
The meeting will be open for public comment at the next council meeting. “We will have the second reading tonight and then the final reading at the next meeting of council on Jan. 25. We will have the public meeting and open comment before we take the ordinance up for final approval. We will have public comments prior to ordinance approval next meeting,” Preece said.
If the ordinance is approved, the new rates will not take effect until the beginning of April. Preece explained saying, “After that, we have to wait 45 days to implement the new rates. That puts us about March 10. Which means the new rates, if they go through, will not take effect until April 1.”
Councilman Mark Sizemore made the motion to approve the second reading of the Water Rate Ordinance. The motion was seconded by Councilman Ralph Maynard and was approved unanimously.
The next meeting of the Delbarton City Council will take place at 5 p.m. Jan. 25.
(Courtney Pigman is a news reporter at the Williamson Daily News. She can be contacted at [email protected], or at 304-235-4242 ext. 2279.)