By Alex Haglund
The Nashville City Council met for their second regular meeting for August at 7 p.m. on the evening of August 20, and approved raising both water and sewer rates, which had been mentioned at the council’s previous meeting.
“It’s been 18 years since we have had a water rate increase,” said water and sewer committee chairman Doug Hargan. Hargan stated that the committee had held a meeting as he stated they would at the last meeting in order to discuss expenses they would need to deal with in the near future and to decide what the rate increase would be.
For water rates, the first year would see a rate increase of 20-percent.
Next year, there will be an increase at the same time of 10-percent, and in two years, an increase of five-percent. Every year after that, there will be an optional increase of two-percent.
“With operations and maintenance costs going up over that 18 year period, plus other expected expenditures, such as water towers being painted, all three of them in the next few years, water purifiers, the computer system that handles the water plant, all these things in the not-too-distant future are going to have to be updated or taken care of,” Hargan said. “To get to where we need to be, of course we are going to have to raise rates.”
The first billing period that the higher rates will be in effect for City of Nashville Water customers will be from Sept. 20 through November 1.
“Your November 1 water bill is when you would first see this,” Hargan said.
Hargan gave the example that if a water bill was currently $10.50, after the rate hike took effect, it would come out to $12.70.
Water rates for Hoyleton and New Minden through the City of Nashville will also be going up, but will need to be negotiated through Washington County Water Company.
For sewer rates, the council approved a raise as well, but not as steep as the one for the water rates. There will be a 15-percent increase this year, followed by an optional two-percent increase every year after that.
“This will hopefully bring the sewer account back into the black,” said city utilities superintendent Blaine Middleton, who stated that sewer operations had been running at a deficit for a long time.