Slight increase in water bills approved
By 11/09/2006 00:00:00
FERRIS - Residents receiving water and wastewater services from the City of Ferris will see a slight increase in their upcoming bills.
Rates would become effective Nov. 15, but the higher payments would be not be due until the December bill.
During Monday night's city council meeting, elected officials voted unanimously for an ordinance to increase the rates by an average of 7.5 percent for water and wastewater services.
Mayor Pro-Tem Fred Pontley was the only council member not present during the meeting.
City Manager Gus Pappas said the city had not raised its water and wastewater rates in several years.
'We are trying to climb out of the problem caused by the drought,' he told council members.
Due to the drought throughout North Texas this year the city had to pay more to the Trinity River Authority for treatment and disposal of sewage.
Under the ordinance, wastewater fees were increased by 60 cents per 1,000 gallons. Water fees were expected to rise five cents per 1,000 gallons used for residential use, 20 cents per 1,000 gallons multi-family units such as apartments and 35 cents per 1,000 gallons for commercial users.
Pappas said city officials wanted to ensure customers on fixed budgets would not experience a significant increase in their bills.
'In order to soften the price on the very, very poor we have increased the rate, but also increased the consumption rate,' Pappas said.
Consumption rates for water and wastewater usage were originally per 1,000 gallons and now each customer could use up to 2,000 gallons of water a month for $19 month.
'Hopefully these increases will move the operation far enough into the black that the city may comfortably take on needed repair and improvement projects each year in the future,' Pappas wrote in a letter to council members.