Biloxi leaders thinking about raising water and sewer rates - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Biloxi leaders thinking about raising water and sewer rates

Biloxi leaders will consider raising water and sewer rates in the city. (Photo source: WLOX News) Biloxi leaders will consider raising water and sewer rates in the city. (Photo source: WLOX News)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

Next week the Biloxi City Council will look at possibly raising water and sewer rates. The thinking behind that is to make sure Biloxi has enough revenue to maintain and operate the water and sewer system. If the change goes through not everyone will be impacted. Since 2009, Biloxi has kept its water and sewer rates unchanged, but a proposal on the table could change that.

"What we're going to be doing is considering a 15 percent increase on 11 percent of our high-end users. Of all the customers in Biloxi the vast majority of them use about 3,000 gallons of water. Our rate increase targets those who use about 8,000 gallons of water a month or more," said Biloxi Spokesman
Vincent Creel.

The proposal calls for a rate increase for five years for those high-volume customers using 8,000 gallons or more a month. Those users would see a 15 percent increase during the first year. After the first year until 2020 rate increases would go up 7.5 percent.

"What this mean is if your bill in Biloxi is $72 or more, you'll see an increase in the rate. The reason that we're raising the rates for those who use 8,000 gallons of water or more that's what costs us the most money to provide them the capacity that they need," said Creel.

Councilman Kenny Glavan said should this proposal pass, it will definitely impact business therefore he thinks there should be something set up to decrease other expenses for commercial users.

"I think the city has the opportunity to also reduce the fire rating that would also have a beneficial affect on high-end users. So it would kind of cancel the increased cost of water usage with a decrease cost of insurance," said Glavan.

In its first year the increase is expected to provide $622,000, which city leaders said will offset the annual cost of $17.5 million used to provide water and sewer service in the city.

If the rate increase isn't approved, Creel said the city will have to find other funding in the budget to subsidize the water and sewer department. City leaders said despite the increase, Biloxi's rates will still be the lowest on the Gulf Coast.

To see a city by city comparison of water and sewer rates click here: http://www.biloxi.ms.us/city-eyes-new-water-sewer-rates-for-high-end-users/

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