Duplin to equalize rates for water use
By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on January 22, 2009 1:46 PM
KENANSVILLE -- Duplin County Board of Commis-sioners voted Wednesday to raise rates in the county's water districts, making costs uniform for all county customers.
The commissioners voted 4-1 to adopt the new water rates, which will raise all bills for the first 2,000 gallons of water to $23, in the county's seven water districts beginning July 1.
Customers in Albertson, Beulaville and part of Chinquapin have been paying $19 for the first 2,000 gallons of water. Wallace-Rose Hill, Warsaw-Faison, Calypso and Kenansville area residents have been paying $22 for the first 2,000 gallons.
But Commissioner Zettie Williams of Kenansville, who made the motion to adopt the new water rates, said maintenance costs are the same on all water lines in the county.
"It sure makes sense to make everybody pay the same," Commissioner Frances Parks of Calypso said.
Commissioner David Fussell seconded the motion until he found out all rates would go up, some $1 for the first 2,000 gallons and the others $4 for the first 2,000 gallons. Then he withdrew his second.
"In hard times, you don't raise people's taxes or water bills," Fussell said. "This won't be a positive move on our part."
Under the new rates, Wallace-Rose Hill, Warsaw-Faison, Calypso and Kenansville will pay $1 more for the first 2,000 gallons of water. Albertson, Beulaville and part of Chinquapin will pay an additional $4. This will bring all the water districts to the same base rate, Duplin utilities director Donna Brown said.
County Manager Mike Aldridge said the changes are necessary.
"Utilities are having to increase their rates," he said.
Mrs. Brown said most utility rates are expected to go up -- and possibly double -- in the next year.
"It has been five and a half years since we raised our water rates," she said.
Commissioner Harold Raynor provided the second to Miss Williams' motion to adopt the new water rates.
The final vote was 4-1, with Fussell dissenting. Commissioner Reginald Wells was absent from the meeting.
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