05/12/05 — Seven Spriings commissioners outraged at sewer bill increases

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Seven Spriings commissioners outraged at sewer bill increases

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on May 12, 2005 1:49 PM

SEVEN SPRINGS -- Residents will pay 19 percent more on their sewer bills beginning July 1 to cover additional costs passed along to Wayne County by the city of Goldsboro.

The town will pay 34 percent more for maintenance of the sewer lines installed a year ago to hook into the Goldsboro sewer system. Rates for Wayne County residents have already been raised 15 percent.

That sharp an increase just a year after an installation bill is unheard of, officials said Wednesday during the town board's monthly meeting.

"I don't think our residents are going to be happy," Mayor Emma Ward said.

Town Clerk Deanna Grady told the board she received a letter from Tyndall Lewis of McDavid Associates, the engineering firm that designed the town's connection to the Goldsboro sewer system.

Lewis advised the town in the letter not to try to absorb the additional cost for the project, saying Seven Springs will still have to wait a couple of years before meeting budget with the new sewer service. Lewis also recommended an increase of 15 percent to cover the shortfall.

The town's cost for maintenance will increase from $3.60 per 1,000 gallons of water use to $4.83 per 1,000 gallons of water use. Residents will pay $10.70 per 1,000 gallons of water use, an increase of about $1.70.

"That's more than 15 percent," Commissioner Peggy Jones said.

When you do the math, 15 percent of the current $9 rate would be $1.35, not $1.70. The increase is closer to 19 percent, which would be and additional $1.71.

The town's maintenance increase is closer to 34 percent, which would be $4.82.

"Surely we didn't leave it wide open for them to constantly raise rates any time they take the notion," Commissioner Danny Carter said. "That's too much control. We're in a bad situation, aren't we? They come in with great ideas, wonderful things, and then they charge you more and more. Fifteen percent a year -- that's unheard of."

Carter said he wanted to go to the next Goldsboro city council meeting and ask why the rates are increasing. Nobody else said anything about going to Goldsboro, and there was no motion.

But Carter said this morning he plans to go, any way. He said he hopes some other members of the Seven Springs town board will go with him.