Water rates will increase in Gulfport

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - By Jessica Bowman – email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - If you live in Gulfport you will soon pay more for your water and sewer service. Gulfport's City Council voted Tuesday to raise rates, in order to help pay back the debt service Harrison County deferred after Katrina. It means, starting October first, water rates in Gulfport will increase by about six percent.

"Unfortunately, the debt that has been occurred by the Harrison County Utility deferring the interest payment," Councilman R. Lee Flowers said. "We're paying the fiddler now, and that went up so much that we're having to raise our rates to address that situation."

Councilman Flowers compared a gallon of water that you would buy from your local store to the gallon of water and services you're getting from the city.

"But remember, you're still getting a great value. Sewer, treatment and transportation and your garbage pick up for a penny a gallon," said Flowers.

And, he said, the less you use, the less you pay.

"I wish that I could charge everybody the same amount for their water usage, but in order to do that it would be such a big jump for folks that use less water than those that use a lot of water."

For instance, a household using about 3,000 gallons of water per month will see an increase on their monthly bill of about $3.10.

"Using 5,000 thousand gallons, which would be mostly families that have children at home that may run their bath water too long or forget to turn off the water while brushing their teeth, it will cost them about the same increase too, about $3.80."

According to Flowers, only about 40 percent of the city's households even use 3,000 gallons or more each month. The vote they felt forced to make, passed four to three.

Councilmen could have voted to make one price for everyone to pay, but said they chose this option to effect as few people as possible.

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