Biloxi to hold public meeting to discuss proposed water rate hike

Biloxi to hold public meeting to discuss proposed water rate hike

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Biloxi officials will hold a public meeting Friday morning at 10:30 a.m. to discuss a potential across the board water rate hike being considered by the city council. The meeting will be held at city hall.

City officials say the hike could raise rates anywhere from 20 percent to 26 percent over five years, and that it needs to raise rates to generate $17.3 million to provide water and sewer service to customers.

This proposed hike is an alternative to Mayor FoFo Gilich's rate hike plan that would have only increased rates for customers who use more than 8,000 gallons of water a month. City officials say those high-end users make up only 11 percent of the city's 13,500 water customers, but account for more than 75 percent of the city's water usage.

This plan has structured rates with categories for customers who use anywhere from less than 3,000 gallons of water a month to more than 25,000 gallons a month.

City officials note that low-end customers who use between 3,000 to 6,000 gallons a month will see a total increase of 87 cents per 1,000 gallons over five years. High-end users would see a total rate increase of $1.22 per 1,000 gallons over that same stretch of time.

In addition to the proposed water hikes, the city is also considering raising garbage collection fees from $10 a month to $13 a month. Garbage collection costs the city $17.15 a month for each household.

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