DELBARTON – At a Delbarton City Council meeting Monday, Nov. 24, Mayor John Preece announced that a water rate increase is unavoidable.
The city faces a decision as to what avenue would benefit the residents of Delbarton.
Delbarton Mayor, John Preece said, “The Public Service Commission (PSD) issued a final order for Mingo PSD on Nov 14. The Mingo PSD came back with somewhere between a nine (9) and 10 percent increase in rates. We were advised to wait and see what happened with the Mingo PSD and we have done that. The final order included a minimal raise in our transportation fees.”
Preece continued saying, “Our early run through indicates that we are going to have to raise our rates to accommodate our debt s service coverage. That has to be done because we have to cover our debt as well as our expenses. Then, we have to cover the increase by Mingo PSD. Our initial review of that will result in about four dollars per thousand. We are going to go through this again. We will try to get it finalized.”
“We are going to have to raise our water rates in this town. We don’t have any choice,” Preece explained.
Delbarton is considering different avenues and options available to reduce financial strain for water customers.
One option is lowering the current minimal bill for water usage per thousand. Currently, the minimal bill for water usage is 3,000 per month. “If we can hold down the minimal bill it will make it easier and not cause a lot of financial woes for our customers,” Preece said.
Councilman Mark Sizemore asked, “Where would our customers be better, with us or the PSD?”
Preece responded, “It sounds like it might be better with the PSD but we need to run it by the Public Service Commission to make sure our numbers are right.”
Sizemore said, “My question is, with all of our expenses are we better off to keep this or sell this? If we can keep our customers under their rates, I don’t care to do it. Where would we come out better for our citizens?”
“I don’t think ours will be much better than that. To go along with your statement is this: can they afford to buy it?” Preece questioned.
Preece continued saying, “What we will do is go back and review our numbers and run it by the Public Service Commission. We have to have enough revenue to cover the operating expense and the debt service coverage.”
The next Delbarton City Council meeting will be Dec. 14 at 5 p.m.
(Courtney Pigman is a news reporter for the Williamson Daily News. She can be contacted at [email protected], or at 304-235-4242 ext. 2279.)