Gulfport City Council passes rate increase for some utilities

Gulfport City Council passes rate increase for some utilities

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Water, sewage and garbage bills are going up in Gulfport. The City Council voted on Tuesday to raise the water and sewage rates four percent. Also the price for garbage service is going up one dollar a month to $15.75.

Several Gulfport residents voiced their displeasure.

"There's a raise on sewage, raise on water, and raise on garbage all in the same bill," said Gulfport resident Mary Spinks-Thigpen. "That is not fair."

Council members said the rate increases are necessary to pay for much needed water and sewer line repairs.

"When we have a sewer system that is 70 plus years old and is going to take $120 million to replace," said Gulfport City Council Member Cara L. Pucheu. "Where do you think that funding is going to come from?"

Ward 5 Councilmen Myles Sharp went on to say the water and sewage systems in the city routinely need repairs.

"These systems like everything else in your home has a lifespan," said Sharp. "We simply can't afford to fund it so we're constantly putting band aides on seriously expensive projects."

The four percent water rate increase breaks down to 10 cents more for every 1,000 gallons of water used a month.

"Most of your senior citizens, their water rate, they're billed between 2,000 -3,000 gallons a month," said Pucheu. "When you look at it that is only 30 cents a month on the water side of it."

The water rates are set to four percent in each of the next two years.

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