Moss Point Residents Could See Hike In Water Rates

Washing his car wash could cost Tom Stiglet more money by the end of the year. If the city is forced to raise water rates, everyone using Moss Point's water system could pay an extra $4 to $5 a month.

Most residents say they don't want to pay more money for the same water service and the same water quality.

"If they could get the water quality up to where you could use it, it would be a lot better," Stiglet said. "You wouldn't feel quite so bad about your rates going up."

"A lot of poor people are just able to pay their water bill at the point they are now and just living on a fixed incomes," Moss Point resident Randell Briggs said.

Old leaking pipes are the reason behind the proposed increase in water rates. On a normal day the city sends about one million gallons of water to the treatment plant. But when it rains, leaking pipes send an extra four million gallons to the treatment plant. That extra water is driving up the rates. But Moss Point city leaders say they're going to fight the increase.

"It's a burden on the citizens and the City of Moss Point, so I think we need to sit down and have a discussion about that," Alderman John McKinney said.

Part of that discussion with the Waste Water Authority, will center around the city's current $3 million pipe replacement project and how those improvements should decrease the city's water bill.

"The amount of money we have spent in Escatawpa, and the money we are spending here," McKinney said. "It won't completely solve the problem, but it should make a big impact on the problem."

City leaders say they have several other areas to discuss with the Waste Water Authority before any residents will see any increase in their water bills.

Higher water rates may not be the only thing driving up bills for Moss Point residents. The Waste Water Authority recently told city leaders the city was accidentally under billed over the last two years.

Now the Waste Water Authority now wants another $30,000 in back payments. Moss Point Alderman John McKinney says, the city is going to investigate that claim and ask the Waste Water Authority to show how such a big mistake happened.

By Ken Flanagan